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Red Bull Racing

How F1 teams are understanding Red Bull's 'DRS tricks'

The efficiency of the DRS of the Red Bull was a standout feature in 2023, and it has carried over to 2024, but how exactly does it work?

Alonso DRS open
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Aston Martin has explained the fine technical balance Formula 1 teams must strike if they want to copy the powerful DRS used by Red Bull.

The RB19 and RB20 machines have both featured powerful DRS activations, where the car is able to dump more drag than others to produce higher top speeds and make the cars even more potent weapons.

Rival squads began to cotton onto what Red Bull was doing mid-way through 2023, with the idea being to stall the beam wing and the underfloor of the car. This reduces its ability to create downforce - or drag - and so higher speeds are possible.

Towards the end of the season, rivals began to introduce their own upgrades aimed at copying the idea, but Aston Martin Performance Director Tom McCullough has detailed the fine-line teams must tread to maximise the effect.

"It is a really good question, and it's one really for more of an aerodynamicist than me," McCullough explained to media including RacingNews365 how the car can gain more speed than just from using the DRS.

"For a base drag level, when you open the DRS, the loading of the flap, the loading of the main plane, the interaction with the beam wing and the floor, the interaction with all the bodywork, the shape of the engine cover, the cooling loss and how you design your cooling package.

"So hats off to Red Bull, last year they were very strong there, and a lot of people had a good look at that, and we're trying to come to a solution where when you bang that DRS button, you shed a lot more drag, which we've been able to do.

"We actually introduced some of those updates last year, and the rear-wing we had on the car [in Saudi Arabia], is very similar to some of the wings we had on the car at the back end of last year.

"But the interaction of the floor, the cooling system and the cooling apertueres, it just results in a bigger switch when you open the DRS."

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