Formula 1 commentator Peter Windsor is convinced that Red Bull’s suspension trick is just one, albeit highly visible, element of the team’s success in 2023.
Having stormed to a Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship double in the first year of the new ground effect rules in 2022, Red Bull have made a 100 per cent start to this season.
Between them, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have won all of the opening five races and are separated by 14 points ahead of this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola.
Perez holds a 30-point lead over the first non-Red Bull driver in the Drivers’ standings, third-placed Fernando Alonso, with the team currently 122 points ahead of Aston Martin in the Constructors’.
A so-called ‘trick’ suspension design has been widely cited as the key to the RB19’s speed in the early weeks of the season, with limited dive under braking and squat during acceleration allowing the car to be run closer to the ground.
In an era in which the underbodies create a large proportion of a car’s performance this not only increases downforce but allows the team to run less rear wing, hence Red Bull’s supreme straight-line performance.
Speaking via a recent YouTube stream, however, former Williams and Ferrari team manager Windsor is convinced that the innovation is just a small part of an aerodynamically efficient car, which he feels is a reflection of the culture implemented by legendary chief technical officer Adrian Newey.
He said: “Obviously [the suspension is] part of the overall thing, but it’s the overall aero package that Adrian’s created and he’s maximising that with anti-dive, anti-squat, all the things that you do within the regulations to try to get a stable platform.
“But the platform itself is an incredibly efficient aero platform – and that is what the others teams don’t have.
“It’s not that they can’t control it the way Red Bull are, they don’t have the right thing to control in the first place.
“That’s the issue, for sure.
“I think the anti-dive, anti-squat thing is very visible and that’s why people grasp it, but the reality is it comes down to Adrian and his aero team and the car they’ve built around the aero parameters that they need.
“As a result, the packaging department, the suspension department, battery department, power unit [department] – whatever it is – they’ve all done a perfect job to complement everything Adrian wanted to do on that car.
“That’s not easy to do as well.
“I think that points to the structure of the team and how well Red Bull functions as a structure in terms of the design and the development of the car.”
Speaking to Sky Sports F1 following Red Bull’s latest one-two finish at the Miami Grand Prix, team principal Christian Horner admitted to being surprised by the lack of progress from their rivals in 2023.
He said: “We’re kind of wondering where are the others?”
“We’ve made a normal step, what we would think, over the winter, and I think it’s more where did Ferrari and Mercedes go?
“They’re working hard on, I’m sure, big upgrades for Europe.”