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Why did Red Bull this season fall further behind Mercedes and Ferrari?

F1 analyst Mark Hughes believes that modifying the RB19’s rear suspension could account for Red Bull’s inherent advantage over Mercedes and Ferrari as well as the rest of the field in 2023. When the RB18 broke cover at the beginning of 2022, Red Bull set the stage for the new ground-effect era of Formula One in a magnificent manner. They had won 17 of 22 races by the season’s end, cruising to both world championships with substantial lead over the rest of the field.

In 2023, the Milton-Keynes-based group took up where they left out with three comes out on top in three races and no indications of dialing back right now. This was attributed to the way the car’s rear suspension has been set up, according to Hughes, who provides his insights and expert opinion on The Race.

When asked to explain Red Bull’s dominating start to the year, Hughes elaborated on this in the most recent episode of the F1 podcast The Race. He stated,

“The Red Bull looks very little different from the car from last year at first glance. So, why should it move so quickly? Indeed, one exceptionally tremendous change which has been made is to the back suspension.”

Hughes continued, adding:

“Red Bull, like everyone else, mounted its rear top wishbone to the top of the gearbox the previous year. This year, however, an additional structure is mounted above the gearbox, giving it a greater anti-squat geometry. Under acceleration, it does not squat down nearly as much.”

According to an F1 expert, Red Bull is able to run the “whole car lower” thanks to modifications to the rear suspension.

Mark Hughes claims that Red Bull’s decision to develop an additional structure to mount their rear wishbone enables them to run the RB19 lower than all of the other cars currently on the grid, giving it an advantage.

In the previously mentioned episode of The Race’s F1 digital recording, Hughes explained on how this is a significant in addition to point for the dominant Constructors’ bosses when he contrasted it with last year’s all-vanquishing RB18. He stated,

“It was already running a very severe anti-dive on the front geometry the year before. Thus, presently this has been joined with a more enemy of squat at the back. As a result, the car’s aero platform will change even less as it brakes in corners and accelerates.”

They have improved their performance in corners as a result of this change, which has the potential to alter the game in numerous ways. First, in order to prevent bottoming out and porpoising, all teams were required to raise their ride height by 15 millimeters as a result of new regulations. Second, Mercedes and Ferrari have not yet been able to make the most of their automobile concepts.

Hughes completed:

“That will improve their through-corner balance, but it will also have made it possible for the team to run the entire car lower because there is less diving and squatting to allow for, which has exponential benefits in a ground-effect car.”

This clever move shocks no one considering Red Bull’s vehicle improvement has been led by Adrian Newey, who is known as an optimal design academic in motorsport. Christian Horner, the team’s principal, has also confirmed that Newey will remain with the group for the foreseeable future. As a result, one can anticipate that the group will continue to perform at a high level for some time yet.

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