Red Bull RB9 – winter testing (pre season) tech summary
Chassis : RB9
Engine : Renault RS27 – 2013
RB9 is a refined version of the previous RB8 (2012 car) , with a “dwarf” vanity panel to cover the stepped nose, a more rigid front wing to meet the stricter FIA regulations regarding flexibility , retained ramp-exit exhausts, tunnelled sidepods and with a passive drag reduction system ,separated from DRS to cut further drag favouring top speed.
The S duct feature which is pioneered by Sauber in 2012 is present on RB9 . It helps to smoothen the negative effects of the boundary layer under the nose . The boundary layer is a slowed stream of air flowing close to a surface due to friction . The small vanity panel on the stepped nose section , alongside with the introduction of the S duct forced Red Bull to abandon the nose letterbox design which aided cooling .
Winter testing updates :
At Barcelona test on February Red Bull tried a low downforce set up rejecting at the same time the beam winglet, also placed extended heat shields on the engine cover around the exhaust zone and featured minor diffuser revisions . A new front wing, revised larger vanity panel and rear wing endplates with horizontal gills instead of curves made debut at second Barcelona test . It was also interesting to see Red Bull to reject the new diffuser and revert back to the old spec .
Aerodynamic performance : very efficient as all Adrian Newey’s creations, provides good aero balance and enough grip .
Speed : very fast at both low and heavy fuel loads but shows very low top speed at straights . The ban of DRS free use at will during qualifying could potentially transform the low top speed issue into a real handicap for the team .
Tyres management : average for all three compounds, soft, medium and hard .
Reliability : pretty good
ramp-exit exhausts, FIA refused permission to Renault to change engine mapping in 2013 that would potentially enhance the positive effect of the ramp exhausts