"Red Bull has been eagerly looking for a lighter design and achieved it successfully"
By Tomas Mota 25 maart 2020 | 08:40
Motorsport Italia has placed the three front suspension systems side by side for a comparison of the top teams. "Whereas Mercedes and Red Bull Racing went into quite an aggressive 2020 setup, Ferrari decided to take a more conservative approach", their sketches show how the systems work.
Despite Mercedes being superior in 2019, they haven't stood still. In many areas, Mercedes designers have taken the W11 to the next level. The front suspension is still attached to the chassis using two wishbones, but the rear rod of the triangles is now lower than the one at the front.
The reason for this is that it improves the airflow along the bars, which improves the aerodynamics of the entire car. "For example, more air flows towards the cooling and under the car, which are two places where the air flows are considered crucial."
Inside, Mercedes has of course managed to integrate the DAS system in the nose and moved the anti-roll bar (a rod that distributes weight on both sides of the car when a corner is taken). "The conclusion is that Mercedes lost weight with every element and got more performance," notes the Italian website.
Red Bull RB16 led by Newey
Adrian Newey also decided to choose an adventurous path with the front suspension. Particularly noticeable on aerodynamic design, at first sight: "The front suspension has been completely redesigned and the nose has become narrower and more squared."
With an accentuated front, this is an aerodynamic advantage. "The aluminium alloy also indicates that they have been eagerly looking for a lighter design, and achieved it successfully. From a mechanical point of view, the Red Bull solution is not ideal, but it is the best compromise to generate much less air resistance with the chassis over time."
This configuration also allows air to flow up from under the nose much more easily, which in turn benefits the cooling of the engine. Newey has also managed to assemble the front wheel suspensions inside the chassis. In the long run, this will make a significant difference in tytre wear and is perhaps the salvation of the RB16 in 2020.
"In short, Newey has literally scrutinised almost every element of the suspension. The extreme concepts that have been applied to every area in the nose are the reasons why this Red Bull can be seen as particularly courageous in design choice", according to the motorsport website regarding the RB16.
Ferrari remains conservative
Unlike the competitors, Ferrari remains relatively conservative in 2020. However, this has the effect that Ferrari does not rush into a design that does not suit the rest of the SF1000 's philosophy . Ferrari introduced a third hydraulic element, but was unable to get this element to work during the winter break.
After the early summer break, before the 2020 season starts, they will most probably change the hydraulic version to a mechanical solution, given that some 2020 parts will now also be used in 2021. So this is not the right time to start experimenting.
"The suspension rods in particular have been adjusted, the lower wishbone is now slightly higher for improved aerodynamic effects. Attention has also been paid to the steering arms, which no longer have a carbon shell, but have now been developed in such a way that they - together with the front rod of the top wishbone - also provide aerodynamic benefits." (Photo: Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images)
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