Red Bull Adopts Mercedes’ Failed Ideas: A Technical Analysis

Red Bull’s RB20, unveiled in Bahrain for F1 2024, features innovative cooling solutions including a new sidepod design and three smaller, more efficient cooling inlets, inspired by previous Mercedes’ concepts and tested under hot conditions to enhance performance.


– ‣ Red Bull’s RB20 showcases new design solutions for F1 2024, including a novel sidepod and cooling inlet design, taking inspiration from previous Mercedes’ concepts but pushing them to the extreme.
– ‣ The RB20 features a unique cooling inlet configuration, splitting the cooling inlet into three smaller inlets to enhance efficiency, with the possibility of adjusting these inlets based on race conditions.
– ‣ The cooling system of the RB20 is detailed with three distinct inlets: a “shark overbite” shaped inlet under the upper tray, a vertical inlet inspired by the SF-23’s by-pass duct, and a rear inlet near the halo for pushing air towards the rear beam wing.
– ‣ Red Bull has increased the size of the airbox for the RB20, indicating a shift in the positioning of radiating masses for improved cooling, a strategy tested under the hot conditions of Bahrain to evaluate its effectiveness.

This morning, something thrilling happened. Red Bull’s RB20 zoomed onto the Bahrain track, flaunting its fresh, real-deal solutions for the F1 2024 season. We’re talking a revamped sidepod and cooling inlet design that’s turning heads. The team from Milton Keynes? They took a leaf out of Mercedes’ book. But here’s the kicker – they cranked those ideas up to eleven.

Now, about those cooling inlets. The RB20’s designers went wild, splitting the cooling inlet into three tinier ones. Why? To ramp up efficiency. Depending on the race day’s mood, they might even play around with these “slits,” opening or closing them to suit the weather. Pretty clever, huh?

But wait, there’s more. When you pit the RB20 against its predecessor, the RB19, things get interesting. The new kid on the block sports a different cooling inlet setup. Dive into the image below, and you’ll spot three distinct cooling sources. First up, there’s this “shark overbite” inlet. It’s sneakily tucked under a long tray at the top (check out the pink line and arrow). Tiny, yet mighty, this inlet uses the air flowing under the tray to cool things down.

Then, there’s the vertical inlet on the chassis sides, already spotted at the big reveal. This one draws inspiration from the SF-23’s by-pass duct (orange line and arrow for you). Last but not least, behind the driver, near the square halo, lies the final inlet. This one feeds air to the rear beam wing (green line and arrow), thanks to two cleverly placed gulleys.

But here’s a twist – these inlets are actually smaller than the RB19’s. Why? Because Adrian Newey and his crew decided to beef up the airbox, giving it a larger, rounder shape. This move hints at more radiating masses up top, needing extra cooling (cue the purple arrow).

And here’s the cherry on top. Red Bull didn’t just randomly choose Bahrain for their show and tell. Nope. They brought these borderline radical solutions to test in the scorching heat, aiming to see just how well they can keep their cool under pressure. Talk about a bold move.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

Related F1 News