There is a mystery to be clarified about Red Bull: Max Verstappen during the Qatar GP reached a higher top speed with his RB16B than that reached by Lewis Hamilton, winner of the race with the Mercedes W12, despite having a rear wing. more charged than that used in free practice.
Told this way the story may seem like an incongruity, while in reality there are logical explanations to explain what happened to the Milton Keynes team, in a very difficult weekend as far as the wings are concerned.
Jean Todt, president of the FIA, and Christian Horner, team principal of Red Bull Racing, on the starting grid in Losail
Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images
Chiristian Horner spent his days in Losail between attacking the Mercedes for the alleged flexibility of the main profile of the black arrow and defending himself because his Red Bull’s DRS system didn’t want to know it was working properly. Showing those “flickering” of the mobile flap that did not close when the actuator was called.
And since Red Bull is dragging this problem from some Gram Premiums, the FIA has invited the Milton Keynes technicians to get right, avoiding asking for the umpteenth time to replace the damaged parts between qualifying and the race, when the cars are in a closed park.
In free practice on Friday the usual DRS controls were mounted and Sergio Perez accused the now usual problem of refusing the mobile element to reposition itself in a static position. In FP3 on Saturday morning, new levers were tested (the actuator was not changed), but the problem continued to persist, leaving the team in despair in the running for the world championship.
The solution came from the analysis of the data: the strengthened levers helped to break the mobile flap which resulted in a construction that was too rigid with respect to the stresses of the track.
The Red Bull RB16B DRS system: on the left the one used in Qualifying and in the race and on the right that of the FP3 that did not work
Photo by: Giorgio Piola
For qualifying and the race, therefore, the engineers directed by Pierre Waché decided to return to the DRS controls used during the championship, mounting another rear wing with different characteristics from the one approved for Losail: it was a more loaded, but with a less rigid construction.
Red Bull solved two problems in one fell swoop: with the different aero-elasticity of the materials, the open DRS flap began to close in the times dictated by the command at the end of the straight and the RB16B also improved the maximum speed at the speed trap. .
The telemetry data showed that by having more downforce in the last corner, Max Verstappen in the race came out on the long finish straight already with a better start (319.9 km / h compared to the 315.3 km / h of Hamilton) which allowed him to touch 325.2 km / h at the speed trap, resulting in 0.9 km / h faster than the Mercedes rival.
Strange to say, but true …
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