Has the RB16B changed more than it appears at first glance?

23-02-2021 18:04 | Updated: 23-02-2021 21:21
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Has the RB16B changed more than it appears at first glance?

Mark Hughes has put the new Red Bull Racing RB16B under the microscope and says despite there being little new to see on the 2021 car, things have changed.

Spotting the differences between Red Bull's 2020 car and the 2021 car is no easy task, as Hughes knows. The most obvious, of course, are the changes to the floor, which were mandatory this year. "But beneath those very similar contours there are hints of an extensively re-engineered car", says Hughes on F1.com.

Narrow nose looks even narrower

According to Hughes, the first thing that stands out is the subtle change to the nose: "The narrow nose has been subtly changed in the way the pillars attach to the wing." The hood under the nose has also changed. It is placed further back and has become slightly smaller. This is to improve the airflow from that area towards the barge boards.

"The sidepods appear to have been subtly reshaped too, with a slightly more aggressive downward slope, as the aerodynamicists will have been trying very hard to claw back the rear downforce lost through the regulation change", Hughes comments on the new car of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

The biggest changes are hidden under the bodywork

Although the front and rear suspension appear unchanged at first glance, Hughes believes that something has changed: "there is a suggestion that there is more of the rear pullrod visible before it disappears beneath the bodywork and that therefore the bodywork has been tightened around that area. This would have been possible only by significant repackaging of the mechanical elements beneath, as it was already extremely tight."

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