Top speed data from the Belgian Grand Prix has highlighted just how much Red Bull were able to gain on the straights with their rear wing open.
The DRS on the RB19 has been heralded all season long by rival teams as one of its many areas where it seemingly out-performs the rest, with the car shedding plenty of drag to increase its top speed.
With data from rival teams compared from the Belgian Grand Prix, it has now been revealed just how much Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have been able to benefit from this area of the car compared to rival teams.
Red Bull gain more than any other team with DRS in Belgian GP
With the top speeds of the teams analysed with and without DRS enabled, Red Bull came out as “superior to the competition in every respect”, according to data from German publication Auto Motor und Sport.
While Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was able to take a higher entry speed through the left-right corners of Eau Rouge than the Red Bull duo, his quickest apex speed of 313.4kph around 5.5kph higher than that of Perez and 6.2kph quicker than Verstappen, the Red Bull drivers were often comfortably quicker come the end of the Kemmel Straight and the time the drivers needed to brake.
Hamilton’s fastest speed through the speed trap was clocked at 333kph (208.1mph), while Verstappen’s was up at 340.8kph (213mph), significantly quicker than Hamilton could manage, despite clocking relatively similar speeds without DRS open.
Or, as summarised by Mercedes’ chief technical officer Mike Elliott: “It’s incredible how much lap time Red Bull gains as soon as the rear wing is open. When we put the speed curves on top of each other, we can hardly believe it ourselves.”
Given the length of the DRS zones in play at Spa-Francorchamps, this offers the chance for Red Bull to make the most of their advantage in DRS conditions.
While AMuS point out that rival teams have closed the gap to the runaway World Championship leaders in terms of their top speed differential as the season has progressed, it is Red Bull who still lead the way with what opening the rear wing gives them – despite running a minimal downforce setup in Belgium.
Not only were they able to extract the highest top speed of the front-running teams at Spa, they were able to get the most from the DRS zones too.
George Russell was able to gain more than 24kph, however, in DRS zones, but given his high-downforce rear wing setup, such a speed differential was more likely on the long Kemmel Straight, and his top speed did not match his team-mate at Spa, with Hamilton’s data used below as a result.
Ferrari were not far behind Red Bull in the delta between DRS and non-DRS speeds, but Mercedes and McLaren showed a relatively significant deficit in those conditions.
Belgian Grand Prix top speeds compared
With DRS: 340.8kph (213mph)
Without DRS: 320.5kph (200.3mph)
Net gain: 20.3kph (12.7mph)
With DRS: 337.3kph (210.8mph)
Without DRS: 318.3kph (198.9mph)
Net gain: 19kph (11.9mph)
With DRS: 333kph (208.1mph)
Without DRS: 319.8kph (199.9mph)
Net gain: 13.2kph (8.2mph)
With DRS: 326.9kph (204.3mph)
Without DRS: 311.6kph (194.8mph)
Net gain: 15.3kph (9.5mph)