Red Bull technical director quashes speculation about the ‘magic’ behind the RB19

Michelle Foster
Red Bull's Max Verstappen at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Budapest, July 2023.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Budapest, July 2023.

Despite their DRS being labelled “super-duper” and “insane”, Red Bull technical director Pierre Waché insists there is “no magic” to it, it’s the entire RB19 package that is Red Bull’s strength.

Red Bull’s highly effective DRS system has been one of the hot topics this season with Lewis Hamilton calling it “insane” while his team boss Toto Wolff billed it as a “mega”.

Dubbed the “super-duper DRS” by Ted Kravitz, his fellow pundit Karun Chandhok claimed that “when they hit the magic button, the Red Bull loses about 24-25 percent of its drag”.

Red Bull: There is no magic in our DRS

That’s well up on the “14-15 percent” other teams lose with the former F1 driver adding: “So they’ve just given the drivers free performance.”

In Belgium, Auto Motor und Sport reports, Hamilton was fastest through Eau Rouge where he clocked 313.4 km/h with Verstappen only on 307.2 km/h.

But on the Kemmel straight with DRS in play, Verstappen’s surged ahead of the Mercedes with a top speed of 338.8 km/h whereas Hamilton’s top speed was only 333.0 km/h.

Waché insists there is no magic to Red Bull’s DRS, rather it’s the whole RB19 package that works exceptionally well.

“There is no magic in our DRS,” formulapassion quotes him as having told L’Equipe, “it doesn’t even open more than the other teams.

“Its effectiveness can simply be traced back to the concept of our car.

“When our wing is closed, we don’t have too much drag, and when the drivers opens it, he gets a lot more speed.

“Our strength is purely aerodynamic.” recommends

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Waché instead reckons the secret to Red Bull’s 2023 success is the floor, not the DRS.

“On the RB19 a bigger DRS would not make sense because it would increase aerodynamic drag,” he said.

“Optimisation must be done through the undercarriage, which must not resist when DRS is open.’

Running ground effect aerodynamics since 2022, the floor of today’s Formula 1 cars creates most of the downforce with Red Bull’s design praised by rivals after Sergio Perez gave them all a very good look at it in Monaco.

Rivals admitted that while the view was great, copying it would not be easy.

Williams head of vehicle performance Dave Robson said: “It’s fascinating, definitely. How valuable it is, is a little bit harder to say.

“I know it was a great view that everyone got in Monaco, but I think we’d seen plenty of photos of it prior – even last year – to at least understand that it’s very complicated and you can’t see the details.

“There is very little on an F1 car that aerodynamically, you can just copy. You have to understand what it is doing and make it work for your car, or understand all the other parts that go with it.

“And that floor is just a great example of that. It’s a whole new level on it. So, you’ve somehow got to pick it apart. It’s genuinely difficult to understand how all those curves work in a three-dimensional space – it’s that complicated.”

Red Bull have won every one of this season’s 12 grands prix, five with 1-2 results, with Verstappen 125 points ahead of Sergio Perez in the Drivers’ standings and Red Bull 256 ahead of Mercedes.

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