Red Bull: Eau Rouge compromises not lightweight chassis behind Belgian GP form

Red Bull thinks rideheight compromises all teams were forced to make because of Eau Rouge were behind Max Verstappen’s dominance of Formula 1’s Belgian Grand Prix weekend.

Red Bull: Eau Rouge compromises not lightweight chassis behind Belgian GP form

The world champion was in a class of his own at Spa-Francorchamps as he topped qualifying and then charged from 14th on the grid after an engine penalty to dominate the race.

The scale of Red Bull’s advantage in Belgium left rivals scratching their heads, as the team had been fairly level-pegged with Ferrari in pure pace terms throughout much of 2022.

While theories of Red Bull gaining from introducing a lightweight chassis were ruled out, the Milton Keynes-based squad did point to one element that appeared to have played especially into its hands.

As teams had to run at a higher rideheight range at Spa, because cars cannot run too close to the ground because the compression at Eau Rouge risks the floors hitting the track, it meant some of the RB18’s strengths were exaggerated.

In particular, while Ferrari and Mercedes appear to produce more downforce when running as close to the ground as possible, Red Bull can still achieve peak levels when running higher.

That element, allied to its car being so strong on straightline speed, meant Red Bull lost less running higher, and it was in a different league at the Belgian circuit.

Team boss Christian Horner said: “I think this circuit has played to our strengths. We have a very efficient car, we've found a very good set-up. Max has just been in phenomenal form, since the very first lap in P1.”

Responding to the rumours before the weekend about Red Bull unleashing a lightweight car, Horner said: “No, we didn't bring it. And no we don't have one...so no, it wasn't a factor in the performance.

“I think a lot was made and a lot of expectation was placed on that [porpoising] TD, and arguably perhaps it's hurt others more than it's hurt ourselves.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, kicks up sparks

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, kicks up sparks

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“But we haven't really changed how we operate the car. Obviously, grounding here is always an issue because of Eau Rouge. But that's not unique to us. That's the same for every team.

“But I think we've seen that already this year we've run a higher rideheight. Our philosophy is probably slightly different to some of the other. Maybe we'll get a TD for the next race that [says] we [have] got to run much lower.”

Read Also:

Lightweight chassis

Although Horner dismissed the idea of Red Bull having introducing a lightweight chassis for Spa, he was coy on the possibility of the team working on such a plan.

Red Bull has battled against the minimum weight limit all season, but has been able to make solid progress to get within a few kilogrammes of where it ideally wanted to be.

Asked about the possibility of Red Bull bringing a lighter chassis in the next two or three races – with Singapore having been singled out as a possible point to debut it – Horner was very careful with his words.

“There's no...these chassis will run for the next few races,” he said.

shares
comments
How Verstappen scored the best win of his F1 career and furthered Leclerc’s downfall
Previous article

How Verstappen scored the best win of his F1 career and furthered Leclerc’s downfall

Next article

How CRB decision will decide Piastri’s F1 fate

How CRB decision will decide Piastri’s F1 fate
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023