Home » F1 Q&A: Andrew Benson answers your questions after Bahrain GP

F1 Q&A: Andrew Benson answers your questions after Bahrain GP

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F1 Q&A: Andrew Benson answers your questions after Bahrain GP

Andrew: I’m afraid this question is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the new Red Bull. Despite what you may have read in certain places, it is not a re-versioning of the Mercedes zero-sidepod design. Quite the opposite; it is an aggressive evolution of their own philosophy pioneered in 2022.

If you doubt that, Mercedes technical director James Allison was asked a similar kind of question in Bahrain last weekend. He gave the following withering response: “Which ideas do you think they have borrowed?” Before going on to make it clear he did not agree with the premise.

The principles of the new Red Bull are the same as those of its predecessors – a heavily undercut sidepod to provide the best possible airflow to the central floor edge, to scavenge air out of the underfloor there, and to the top of the diffuser, to create a low-pressure area to do the same there.

All that’s happened this year is that the undercut is even bigger than before. But the sidepod is still very much there. Yes, the Red Bull has a couple of vertical air inlet slats, and the old Mercedes had a much larger vertical entry on its zero-pod car, whereas most cars use high-mounted horizontal inlets. But they are about pursuing the Red Bull philosophy further, not adopting the Mercedes one.

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