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Technical staff Red Bull on RB18: 'Biggest regulation change since 1983'

Published on 09 February 2022 by Bryan van Berlo

Oracle Red Bull Racing took the cover off its new car for the first time today. Max Verstappen will try to defend his title in the  RB18 sporting the number one. Without giving away too many details to the competition, the differences from last year are already clear to see.

“It has been a very unusual process”, says Adrian Newey, Chief Technical Officer of Oracle Red Bull Racing. “It’s a huge regulation change, the biggest one we’ve had since 1983, when the venturi cars were banned and the flat bottom cars were introduced. The aerodynamic changes are designed to help overtaking. The theory is that the wake from the car goes above the car that is following, so therefore, the car behind keeps its downforce much better.”

Technical Director Pierre Wache further explains the impact of the aerodynamic changes: “What they wanted to do, is generate the downforce from the ground, compared to before. It will affect the mechanical grip and for sure the drive of the car. Because this generation of downforce is quite efficient, this type of car should be lots quicker on the straights at equal levels of downforce.”

Finally, Chief Engineer Paul Monagham discusses the new, larger tires: “The thinking with road relevance is that the majority of the road cars have big wheels and come with low profile tyres. We’ve come up on the wheel size to 18 inches as a line in the sand. It has certainly put a bit of weight on the car. The tyre is bigger overall, so it has a fairly significant aerodynamic effect. Then you’ve got the characteristics of the big tyre to try and understand as well. It’s a bit of a new drawing board for us, isn’t it?”