The success of Red Bull‘s latest Formula 1 offering, the RB19, doesn’t boil down to one significant design aspect. Instead, a plethora of intricate design details appear to jointly contribute to the car’s overall performance.
A key example is found in the vehicle’s chassis design. Specifically, the lower half of the bulkhead features a V-shaped profile, a departure from a simple block or square standard seen on other cars.
This design improves on that of its already contoured predecessor by further refining the chassis’ shape, showcasing Red Bull‘s attention to detail.
The primary consequence of these design features is mirrored in their aerodynamics. The RB19‘s unique V-shape prevents a drag along the chassis’ side, in turn providing a freer passage for air along that part of the car.
Although isolated gains from these aerodynamic interventions are likely, further improvements are expected with persistent modifications to both the fore and aft aerodynamic connections. Elements such as the front wing, nose, sidepod undercut, and floor all play key roles in this developing process.
Attributing innovativeness to Red Bull‘s design team, the V-shape cross-section is not unfamiliar to F1 design. It marked the beginning of Adrian Newey‘s F1 journey with the March 881 which featured a similar design, guided by the shape of the drivers’ feet.
In terms of driver cooling, Red Bull utilizes their bulkhead design effectively. They have positioned inlet ports both above and below the inboard suspension, steering assembly, and brake cylinders.
The bottom inlet ports can receive cool air via two centrally connected tubes. On the contrary, there is only one upper port, which can be utilized as needed. This presents an efficient system that optimizes resource allocation.