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F1 tech review: Red Bull finds new ways to pull further ahead

Red Bull’s RB19 was clearly the class of the field in 2023, with the team finding numerous ways to build on its earlier success under the new regulations.

Red Bull Racing RB19 technical detail

Giorgio Piola

Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Giorgio Piola is the preeminent Formula 1 technical journalist. Born in Genoa, Italy, Giorgio has covered the F1 World Championship since 1969, producing thousands of illustrations that have been reproduced in the world’s most prestigious motor racing publications.

Let’s take a look at some of the car’s more impressive details, while also uncovering what changes Red Bull made during the course of the season to ensure its dominance.

Red Bull Racing wheelbase comparison (Anti-dive, inset)

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull Racing wheelbase comparison (Anti-dive, inset)

A comparison of the RB18 and RB19’s front suspension arrangements showing not only how the elements were repositioned but how this was used to realign the car’s wheelbase. This decision would not only have an impact from a mechanical perspective but also from an aerodynamic point of view. We’re also able to see how the suspension has been laid out from an anti-dive perspective in the inset.


Red Bull Racing RB19 bottom view comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull Racing RB19 bottom view comparison

A comparison of the RB18 and RB19’s from beneath shows how the team developed its underfloor to deal with the changes in the regulations, which is more visually notable on the floor’s edge and with the change in approach when it came to their edge wing design.


Red Bull Racing RB19 diffuser

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull Racing RB19 diffuser

Another glimpse of the RB19’s underfloor reveals the complex geometries employed, with the twisted floor fences, midfloor contouring, stepped boat tail and multi kick diffuser profile all visible.


Red Bull Racing RB19 diffuser side view

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull Racing RB19 diffuser side view

A side view of the RB18’s floor and diffuser shows the ridged shoulder line of the diffuser roof and sidewall, whilst also showing off the detail of the mouse house in the sidewall.


Red Bull Racing RB19 floor fences

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull Racing RB19 floor fences

A great view of the floor’s leading edge, tunnel entrance and floor fences, all of which have complex geometrical features.


Red Bull Racing RB19, detail front wing

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull Racing RB19, detail front wing

Red Bull started the season with a new addition on its front wing, as a small winglet was mounted in the lower rear corner of the endplate to help alter flow conditions and aid in generating outwash.


Red Bull Racing RB19 front caliper, yellow detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull Racing RB19 front caliper, yellow detail

In an effort to save weight, while also improving cooling, Red Bull’s front brake caliper features small tube fins (highlighted in yellow). The team also carried over their disc fairing solution used in 2022, albeit redesigned to better manage the temperatures and airflow passing through and around it.


Red Bull Racing RB19 technical detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull Racing RB19 technical detail

Similarly at the rear of the car, careful management of the airflow’s trajectory as it moves around the rear brake assembly is taken into account.


Red Bull Racing RB19 technical detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Red Bull Racing RB19 technical detail

Behind the more external airflow and heat management channels installed within the rear brake assembly, Red Bull also employs a brake disc fairing.


Red Bull Racing RB19 technical detail

Red Bull Racing RB19 technical detail

A close up of the RB19’s rear end as the mechanics prepare the car for action reveals numerous interesting details, including the various panel gaps that make up the external facade of the rear crash structure, a view of some of the inboard suspension elements, the high inboard pickup points for the upper wishbone and the central metal cradle for rear wing mounting pillar, to name but a few.


Red Bull Racing RB19 technical detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Red Bull Racing RB19 technical detail

A close up of the C-Shaped floor section and floor edge wing mounted above that mimics its shape to create a two-tier element.


Red Bull Racing RB19 DRS detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull Racing RB19 DRS detail

The DRS mechanism on the RB19, showing how the linkage attaches to the flap, while the hydraulic actuator controls its operation.


Red Bull Racing RB19 chassis section

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull Racing RB19 chassis section

The RB19 featured a more extreme V-shaped chassis layout in the lower half to help deliver more airflow quality to key areas aft of it.


Red Bull Racing RB18 steering inset

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull Racing RB18 steering inset

For comparison purposes, here’s the 2023 RB18 chassis, which also featured a V profile, albeit not as aggressive as the RB19’s.


Red Bull Racing RB19 technical detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Red Bull Racing RB19 technical detail

A look under the covers of the RB19 reveals some of the packaging details of the power unit and its various ancillaries, along with a glimpse of some of the inboard suspension elements.


Red Bull Racing RB19 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Red Bull Racing RB19 detail

A close up of the outer floor fence but also note the panel used in the junction between the floor and chassis, which is heavily contoured.


Red Bull Racing RB19 technical detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Red Bull Racing RB19 technical detail

As you’d expect, given the difference in circuit characteristics between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, Red Bull opted to reduce its downforce levels for the street circuit, not only with the introduction of a new shallower spoon-shaped rear wing arrangement but also with its choice of beam wing elements.


Red Bull Racing RB19 sidepods inlet comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull Racing RB19 sidepods inlet comparison

Red Bull made changes to the layout of its sidepod inlet at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, widening the aperture but reducing its height, in order to improve flow through the undercut beneath. It’s a design process that continued to be exploited too, as an even more adventurous variant arrived at the Hungarian Grand Prix.


Red Bull Racing RB19 radiator

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull Racing RB19 radiator

A look at the RB19’s radiator design, which allowed the team to express its aerodynamic desires both internally and with the external sidepod bodywork.


Red Bull Racing RB19 sidepod detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull Racing RB19 sidepod detail

Another angle showing the changes made by Red Bull to reduce the sidepod inlet’s height but also widen the bodywork.


Red Bull Racing RB19 cooling detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull Racing RB19 cooling detail

Additional cooling capacity for the Hungarian Grand Prix, with two cooling louvres utilised on the left-hand side of the car.


Red Bull Racing RB19 cooling detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull Racing RB19 cooling detail

Red Bull almost exclusively used an asymmetric layout for the engine cover cooling louvre panel in 2023 with more cooling used on the right-hand side of the car, as a five-louvre panel was used in Hungary.


124-23 Red Bull Diffuser comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

124-23 Red Bull Diffuser comparison

Alterations to the RB19’s diffuser corner (red arrow) also resulted in the rear kickline geometry being altered too, with a much narrower ramp being employed.


Red Bull Racing RB19 diffuser

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull Racing RB19 diffuser

The small ramped section of the diffuser, which borrows real estate from the upper surface, can be seen here from both sides (red arrow).


Red Bull Racing RB19 
 endplate comparison Singapore GP

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull Racing RB19 endplate comparison Singapore GP

Red Bull introduced their open-ended rear wing tip section variant at the Singapore Grand Prix, having seen a number of rivals already extract performance from similar solutions.


Red Bull Racing RB19 detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull Racing RB19 detail

Another view of the open-ended tip section, showing how it alter the size and shape of the rear endplate cutout.


Red Bull Racing RB19 new floor comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull Racing RB19 new floor comparison

Alterations were also made to the floor’s edge in Singapore, with additional guide vanes added to the scrolled section of the edge wing, while the overall geometry of the surfaces were also tinkered with. It wasn’t raced in Singapore as the team tried to get on top of its issues but did return in Japan and was used thereafter.


Red Bull Racing RB19 technical detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Red Bull Racing RB19 technical detail

Another view of the floor and edge wing and how the two surfaces are paired to work in unison with one another.


Red Bull Racing RB19 floor side detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull Racing RB19 floor side detail

Red Bull also took note of a design feature seen on the Mercedes W14 as it was craned away from the circuit in Monaco, with a series of small strakes added to the underside of the rear portion of the edge wing.


Red Bull Racing RB19 rear wing comparison, Las Vegas GP

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull Racing RB19 rear wing comparison, Las Vegas GP

Red Bull opted for different rear wing configurations at the Las Vegas Grand Prix, as Max Verstappen’s car was set up with a trimmed version of their lower downforce arrangement.


Here’s the list of the components that Red Bull listed as having changed in the car presentation document prior to each race.

  • Saudi Arabia
    • Beam Wing
    • Rear Wing
    • RWEP
  • Australia
    • FWEP
    • Front wing upper elements
    • RBD wraparound
  • Azerbaijan
    • Sidepod inlet
    • Engine cover
    • Floor edge
    • Floor fences
    • RBD winglet split
  • Miami
    • N/A
  • Monaco
    • Rear wing
    • Front suspension (steering lock)
  • Spain
    • Floor edge
    • Diffuser
  • Canada
    • Front wing
  • Austria
    • Rear suspension fairings
  • Great Britain
    • FBD inlet and exits
  • Hungary
    • FBD inlet and exits
    • RBD exit and winglets
    • Sidepod inlet and wider body
    • Engine cover
    • Floor body
  • Belgium
    • Engine cover (reduced exit around suspension)
  • Netherlands
    • Beam wing
  • Italy
    • Front wing
    • Rear wing
  • Singapore
    • Floor edge
    • RWEP - open ended
  • Japan
    • N/A
  • Qatar
    • N/A
  • USA
    • N/A
  • Mexico
    • Larger cooling louvres
  • Brazil
    • N/A
  • Vegas
    • N/A
  • Abu Dhabi
    • N/A

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