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Red Bull Racing

Red Bull spy analysis: Does the RB20 take inspiration from Mercedes?

The new Red Bull took to Silverstone for a shakedown run ahead of its official launch, so what did we learn? RacingNews365 Technical Analyst Paolo Filisetti takes a look.

The first spy images of the Red Bull RB20 during the shakedown at Silverstone that immediately circulated on Tuesday [February 13] aroused considerable curiosity in F1 circles.

There were distinctive elements of the new single-seater designed by Adrian Newey which instantly caught the eye, starting from the nose cone and extending up to the level of the leading edge of the front wing. It appears there has been an effective exploitation of the greater lateral surface of the nose cone to accentuate the out-wash of the airflow.

The section of the car most striking, from the images taken at a considerable distance from the car, concerns its core. The sidepods seem to have taken the concept of closing the inlets to the extreme, disappearing under the large lip placed at the level of the upper edge of the sidepod.

The profile tapers down in a straight line towards the rear, with a strong resemblance to the profile of the second version of the Mercedes W14.

A further element of similarity with last year’s car from the Brackley-based team concerns the profile of the base of the engine cover characterised by two 'bazookas' with a circular section, very similar to those seen on the W14 and strongly inclining downwards to deflect the blowing of the hot air towards the beam wing.

The air scope also appears to be heavily modified, now with a more squared section, whilst the volume of the engine cover is also intriguingly wider than the RB19.

These elements taken as a whole - the new air scope, the increased volume of the engine cover and the large 'bazookas' - are the direct consequence of the extremes of the sidepods concept, with the inlets positioned high and shielded by the upper lip (tray).

In essence, in order to create the large channel under the pod, for blowing the direct flow to the rear axle, the concept of the RB20 seems to have had to overturn the packaging of the radiators and coolers.

A single-seater, therefore, unlike the recent fears expressed by Newey of having produced an overly conservative version, demonstrates a marked extreme of the concepts expressed on last year's car, effectively sacrificing every element to achieve the aerodynamic strategic targets.

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