Red Bull RB6, Adrian Newey's first symphony



After the exciting challenges that had characterized the Formula 1 seasons up to 2008, the Circus is shaken by the rise of emerging teams. In 2009 the rookie Brawn GP imposed himself on the rest of the competition, but in the same year one team in particular impresses with the clear and constant growth carried out throughout the entire championship: Red Bull.


The young team of Milton Keynes attracts the attention of rivals for the many solutions tested, and obviously the name of Adrian Newey suggests the potential of the Anglo-Austrian team.


With the arrival of 2010, in Formula 1 there are several noteworthy movements: the arrival of Alonso in Ferrari, the return of Schumacher in the Circus together with Mercedes, which acquired Brawn, and the passage of Button to McLaren, thus forming a top-level line up.


Despite the many noteworthy news, Red Bull is talked about and immediately emerges, arousing everyone's curiosity thanks to the RB6, a car that promises well, scaring the entire Paddock for the solutions presented.


The secrets of Adrian Newey’s jewelery


As on the old RB5, the rear suspension of the new car follows the pull-road philosophy, distinguishing itself from those of all the others that continue to be push-road. Based on the design of the rear suspensions, it can be deduced that the engine was placed in a slightly raised position, due to the arms, which are slightly higher than the old single-seater.


The choice made for the entire front part is also rather extreme: the height of the nose, approximately, follows that of the rest of the competition, but it is the frame that presents an unusually higher measure, thus allowing an increase in air flow. intended for the rear diffuser.

The V developed on the front of the frame is also very evident, for purely aerodynamic reasons. On the front of the car, the extreme solution adopted for the braking system stands out: the calipers are in fact mounted on the lower part and not laterally as usual.


The goal of this solution is to lower the center of gravity of the car as much as possible, thus focusing on a detail that has created many headaches for the engineers who had tried it in previous models.


The fin on the bonnet represents an almost obvious feature for Red Bull's 2010 project, considering that Adrian Newey had already shown himself in favor of this type of solution in the past, and it was therefore foreseeable that it would be re-proposed on the RB6.


The exhausts, on the other hand, were placed very low, in the final part of the side bellies: in Red Bull they therefore decide to choose a totally opposite path compared to the Ferrari F10, on which they are instead placed in a more advanced position.

Compared to competing single-seaters, the RB6 has a shorter wheelbase, but the difference was minimal.

The doubts of the opponents


From the first Grand Prix of the season in Bahrain, the RB6 shows its full potential, surpassing direct rivals such as Ferrari and McLaren. Especially on the flying lap, it is very difficult for any rider on the grid to compete against Vettel and Webber, thanks to which Red Bull obtained seven consecutive pole positions in the first seven races, and in nineteen rounds of the season the RB6 sprints from first place fifteen times.


A clear sign that testifies to the strength of the Anglo-Austrian car, able to compete for the top positions on any type of track, forcing the opponents of the Circus to work hard to understand what the real strength of the RB6 was.


A first detail highlighted is the self-leveling rear suspension, capable of varying the height from the ground according to the fuel load on board: thanks to this solution, the single-seater maintains a constant attitude, useful for fully exploiting the benefits of the load. aerodynamic generated by the double rear extractor bottom.


McLaren will come to suspect that there was a real set-up corrector, but this theory will only be disproved by the checks carried out by the FIA, thanks to which any irregularities are avoided.


In the Monaco Grand PrixP, the Red Bull exhausts are put under the magnifying glass, characterized by an unusual trend compared to all the others: instead of blowing the hot air of the gases up high, Newey finds a way to deliberately channel the flow hot towards the area that feeds the rear diffuser from the top of the bottom.

This is because hot air accelerates the movement of flows, radically increasing the aerodynamic load in a delicate area of ​​the car. Solutions of this type have always distinguished Adrian Newey, who had experimented with them with very similar philosophies on the McLaren MP4-18.


However, it is thought that the RB6 is tremendously fast not only for the goodness of the extreme design of the car, but also for some benefit guaranteed by the Renault engine. The most mischievous technicians even go so far as to claim that Milton Keynes asked the French carmaker to develop a special engine mapping, to be provided to Vettel and Webber at key moments in qualifying.


And in fact, the two Red Bull drivers have the possibility of bringing the engine speed to the limit of 18,000 rpm, exceeding the limit of 17.700 of a normal gear change, designed to avoid over-revving in the event of wheel spin, giving up in practice to the engine brake.


In other words, the two RB6s are equipped with an engine capable of allowing Vettel and Webber to keep their foot on the accelerator for a longer time, loading the rear extractor profile more thanks to an almost completely continuous flow of exhaust gases.

It's a phenomenal solution to say the least, but Adrian Newey's strokes of genius don't stop there.


The design of the single-seater takes place around a very narrow and long gearbox, which ensures a lot of free space in the lower part, and especially in the extractor area, thanks to the mechanical elements that make up the transmission, distributed in the box in an unusual way. such as to direct it towards a completely vertical development.

A march that is at times unstoppable, at times vulnerable


In short, beating Red Bull seems impossible, because they have all the credentials to monopolize the front row and dominate the race.


Yet, the 2010 World Championship goes down in history for having been lost in an incredible way by Ferrari at the last race in Abu Dhabi, when, due to a wrong strategy, the Maranello team is unable to guarantee Alonso the fourth place that would have him. third World Champion title allowed.


So how did such a high-performance car manage to find itself forced to chase with both drivers in the Drivers' championship until the last Grand Prix?

The problems are mainly two. The first is the poor reliability of the project, which often penalizes the two Red Bull drivers: the double retirement in Korea is sensational, with Webber out of the game due to his mistake, while Vettel is forced to stop due to an engine problem. when he is in the head undisturbed. This particular Korean Grand Prix, held under the downpour, was won by none other than Fernando Alonso.

The second problem is related to the internal rivalry of the team between the two drivers: there are episodes in which, it must be said, the two bulls come to bite each other, as in the Grand Prix raced in Turkey. Precisely for these reasons, Red Bull often fails to realize the clear technical superiority, consequently favoring the fight for the championship.


But in the end both titles arrive for the Milton Keynes team, officially starting an era of domination that lasted until the end of 2013, even if it is correct to underline that already at the end of 2009 the Anglo-Austrian team had defined the bases to establish itself as top Circus team, remaining so to this day.

Simone Pietro Zazza

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