Ted Kravitz has burning questions for Adrian Newey over ‘red herring’ RB20 design

Michelle Foster
The sharp undercut below the Red Bull RB20 sidepods

"The mother and father of all undercuts underneath that sidepod"

Ted Kravitz has billed Red Bull’s “F18-style” air intakes on the RB20 as a “bit of a red herring”, designed like that “all just to make the mother and father of all undercuts” possible.

Rather than put an evolutionary car on the track this season, Red Bull went for revolutionary as they binned many of the RB19’s parts and created the all-new RB20.

‘Okay, right, that’s a bit of a red herring’ on the Red Bull

New for them that is, as the car’s engine cover and heavily undercut sidepods bear some resemblance to the Mercedes cars of yesteryear.

Red Bull, though, have made the parts work with Max Verstappen leading Sergio Perez across the line in back-to-back 1-2 results to kick off the team’s title defence.

But while the RB20’s radical air intakes have caught the eye, Kravitz reckons they’ve been designed that way to allow for what he calls the “mother and father of all undercuts” underneath the car’s sidepods.

Studying the RB20, he told Sky Sports F1’s podcast: “The whole package of the RB20 makes more sense to me now.

“And I have focused on the little vertical inlets, and the sort of F18-style Concorde-style air intakes underneath that crash structure, but the more you look at it, the more that all makes sense.

“And the more you think, ‘okay, right, that’s a bit of a red herring’.

“Because yes, they’re rather cool, and how they literally cool the car is quite clever with the little inlets going in either side of the Halo, but that’s all just to make the mother and father of all undercuts underneath that sidepod, and then on the top of the floor, to make that floor – and I’d love to see the bottom of the floor but hopefully Max and Checo won’t have a crash so we can get pictures of it – but that must have been an area of huge improvement and development as well.

“So the more you look at that RB20, the more it kind of makes sense.”

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The pit lane reporter added that he would love to ask Red Bull’s design team, led by Adrian Newey, to explain their thinking behind the concept.

“How did you do that? Where did those ideas come from?” he said.

“Was it just to get this huge undercut and everything, moving the cooling and the sidepod entry, was to allow for that?

“It’s like, right, I want this massive undercut where I can basically put my suitcase in it’s so big, and how are we going to do that? So well, you can’t put the sidepods there and you can’t put the cooling there. Well, let’s move that. It’s like, eh okay.

“So yeah, hugely impressive.”

Red Bull have won back-to-back races in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia from pole position with Verstappen, who leads Sergio Perez by 15 points in the standings with Red Bull 38 up on Ferrari.

Kravitz reckons more wins will surely follow.

Speaking about the car’s tyre performance, he added: “That stable and efficient aero platform leads to kind of more optimised tyre wear. And that’s something that Max was talking about after the race, that actually it’s really good on tyre wear.

“It will be different to see in Melbourne what happens. And then Suzuka and Shanghai. But yeah it’s a car for all tracks a car, for all conditions at the moment.”

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