Red Bull Racing forced to modify its wheel hub design

Red Bull Racing has been forced to make modifications to the wheel hub of its car after suggestions it was gaining an aerodynamic advantage from its clever design

Red Bull Racing forced to modify its wheel hub design

Since the start of the season, the central area of the front wheel hubs on the RB8 has featured holes that channel hot air from the brake ducts to the outside of the wheel.

Following a close examination of the design by the FIA at the Canadian Grand Prix, however, AUTOSPORT understands that it was decided that the design was actually providing more than just a cooling effect and was helping the aerodynamic performance of the car.

Sources suggest that channelling air to the outside of the wheel, the design can energise the flow over the front wing.

Under article 3.15 of the Formula 1 Technical Regulations, teams are told that "any specific part of the car influencing its aerodynamic performance" must be "rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car" and must remain "immobile in relation to the sprung part of the car."

To ensure that the team did not gain any aerodynamic advantage from its concept - and therefore be in breach of the regulations - it has had to block the holes in the hub from the inside.

Red Bull Racing sources have played down the impact of the modifications and insist that it will not have any major impact on the performance of its car.

The wheel hub issue comes just two weeks after Red Bull was at the centre of another technical controversy in Monaco regarding holes in the floor of the car.

Following complaints from rival teams, the FIA issued a clarification that the Red Bull-type holes would not be allowed anymore.

Although the FIA has ruled that the wheel hub design has had to be changed, the car has passed scrutineering at every race so far this season.

Mark Webber reacted angrily to suggestions earlier this week that the hole issue on the floor meant the victories he and Sebastian Vettel had achieved were only done with an 'illegal' car.

"I'm happy to be called lots of things and I'm happy to have criticism about my driving and lots of stuff, but I will not take criticism in that respect," he said. "It completely pisses me off to be honest, because the car has passed every single technical regulation after the race."

shares
comments
Five themes to watch for in Canada

Previous article

Five themes to watch for in Canada

Next article

Formula 1 young driver test in jeopardy due to Silverstone issues

Formula 1 young driver test in jeopardy due to Silverstone issues
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Jonathan Noble
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning Plus

The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning

Frank Gardner was the veteran of just eight grand prix starts. It could have been more, but why waste his talent if the cars weren't up to it? NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the life of one of racing's great characters

Formula 1
May 2, 2021
Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth Plus

Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth

Jean Todt has signalled that he will not stand for re-election as FIA president. MARK GALLAGHER analyses the strong credentials of one potential successor…

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao Plus

The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying

Formula 1
Apr 30, 2021