Red Bull Aims for Knockout Blow Using Mercedes Ideas in Technical Analysis

The RB20, Red Bull’s latest Formula 1 car, incorporates aggressive design changes inspired by Mercedes, focusing on improved aerodynamics and cooling, with a major upgrade expected in Bahrain, signaling a potential significant advantage over competitors in the 2024 season.

Highlights

‣ The RB20 incorporates aggressive design changes inspired by Mercedes, with a major upgrade package expected to be introduced in Bahrain, raising questions about whether the version seen is the final RB20.

‣ Red Bull’s technical team, led by Adrian Newey and Pierre Wachè, has focused on improving the car’s drivability in slow-speed corners and on bumpy circuits by adopting and adapting ideas from other teams, particularly Mercedes, to fit their car philosophy.

‣ Significant modifications include changes to the cooling inlet, which is now vertical and integrated into the sidepod design for improved air flow and downforce, and alterations to the rear suspension and engine cover for aerodynamic and mechanical benefits.

‣ Despite the extensive evolution from the RB19 to the RB20, there is still uncertainty about the car’s performance relative to competitors, with Red Bull hinting at further developments to be revealed in Bahrain and acknowledging the unpredictable nature of Formula One advancements.


Spotted at Silverstone just days ago, the RB20 made its grand debut in Milton Keynes. It’s a beast, more aggressive than its predecessors, borrowing heavily from Mercedes’ playbook of 2022 and 2023. Yet, whispers in the paddock suggest a major upgrade is en route to Bahrain. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Is this the final form of the RB20?

“Seen the rest? Try the best,” as the old sales pitch goes. Red Bull, fashionably late to the car launch party, dropped jaws. Adrian Newey’s grin was a saga in itself, hinting at the audacity of his 2024 Formula 1 contender. While the grid borrowed from the RB19, Red Bull zagged, embracing a bold new direction. Their new bits? They smack of Mercedes genius from the rule shake-up in 2022. Imagine the scenes if the RB20 nails those concepts.

On the technical front, Red Bull had a singular focus: tweak the RB20’s slow-corner agility and bump handling. Raising the car cost them precious downforce. Sounds simple, right? Yet, Newey and Pierre Wachè flipped the script, pilfering ideas from rivals (cough, Mercedes) and melding them into their design ethos. Will this gamble pay off? Time and the stopwatch will tell.

**Big changes to the cooling inlet**

The nose of the RB20? It’s a departure from last year, opting to merge with the main plane rather than the second flap—a move echoed by Mercedes, Ferrari, and Aston Martin in 2024. This new approach, broad and bold up to its junction with the main plane, might be a game-changer, both aerodynamically and structurally. It’s designed to ace the FIA’s crash tests with flying colors.

But that’s not all. The engine cover and rear suspension have seen significant overhauls. The RB20 borrows the bulky, curvilinear engine cover gulleys from the Mercedes W14, enhancing heat exchange efficiency. Meanwhile, the rear suspension tweaks aim to boost airflow to the car’s tail. It’s all about squeezing out every bit of downforce.

Yet, the heart of the revolution beats in the car’s midsection. The cooling inlet, now vertical à la Mercedes’ 2022 philosophy, could be a stroke of genius. This tweak not only reshapes the sidepod but also pioneers a “double floor” design, promising torrents of downforce.

The floor’s new design, featuring a clever step near the edge, aims to manage turbulence from the front tyres. And the side pods? Their dramatic undercut and the complex “bazookas” behind the halo are engineering poetry in motion.

Pierre Waché reflected on the winter’s work, focusing on the RB19’s flaws to elevate the RB20’s performance. Adrian Newey, however, pondered the progress of rivals, questioning if their evolution was sufficient. With rumors of a “launch version” and the real deal set to debut in Bahrain, the F1 world is on tenterhooks.

In the end, though, all the speculation and engineering marvels boil down to track performance. Mercedes’ 2022 saga taught us that radical designs don’t always translate to dominance. So, we wait for Bahrain, fingers crossed, hoping the RB20 lives up to the hype.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at F1Highlights.com. 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