Key development in Red Bull’s new wind-tunnel plan emerges

Mark Scott
The Oracle Red Bull Racing logo on display at the Singapore Grand Prix

Red Bull are the last team to launch their 2024 challenger.

Red Bull’s plans for a brand new motorsport facility, complete with a new wind tunnel, has taken a twist after the team withdrew their application.

The dominant Red Bull team was reportedly prepared to spend in the region of 50 to 75 million Euros on a new wind tunnel facility with initial hopes of developing the 2024 challenger in it.

However, according to a prominent F1 broadcaster and UK Councillor Sam Collins, documents have revealed Red Bull have revised their plans for the wind tunnel.

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With the likes of Mercedes, McLaren and Aston Martin all placing significant investment into their HQ bases over recent years, Red Bull had their own plans drawn up to ensure they don’t get left behind in the continuous race for development.

“Red Bull wind tunnel set back,” F1 analyst and broadcaster Sam Collins reported on X.

“Things are not going to plan for Red Bull’s new wind tunnel in Milton Keynes, UK. The team has withdrawn its planning application for the new facility. Which means there is no chance of construction starting soon.

“It also means that any new wind tunnel for the team would not be much use on the 2025 car, and would be a push to realistically have it in use for much meaningful development on the Ford-powered 2026 car.

“The team will continue with its 75-year-old tunnel at Twinwoods, UK for now.”

“The reasons for withdrawal have not been revealed yet, but it may be that the team will have to find a new location for the tunnel, or significantly modify the plans.”

One senior Red Bull figure that may actually be happy with this withdrawal is the legendary aero guru: Adrian Newey.

When Red Bull’s new wind tunnel plans first ramped in 2022 with an “approval phase” entered, as Helmut Marko called it, Newey was actually against the idea of building a new wind tunnel from scratch.

“It just takes too long for us to ramp up to the desired wind speed,” Newey was quoted as saying at the time. “And that steals significantly relevant wind tunnel time that we’re actually entitled to.

“I would keep everything full CFD [Computational Fluid Dynamics] development. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough votes for that, although it would be much more sustainable. The usual suspects are against it.”

It is not all doom and gloom for Red Bull’s future development, though, with plans for a new power unit operations base heading in the right direction.

Collins added: “Its new Power Units building is progressing through the planning process as normal, it still does not have planning permission but there don’t seem to be many significant objections to it.”

PlanetF1.com has approached Red Bull Racing for clarification on their F1 wind tunnel plans.

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