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Red Bull Racing

The intriguing upgrades Ferrari and Red Bull are set to bring to Spain

While more updates were introduced throughout the F1 field in Miami, some major packages are expected at the Spanish Grand Prix, as RacingNews365.com technical analyst Paolo Filisetti explains.

Verstappen Leclerc Miami
Analysis
To news overview © XPB Images

Formula 1's first visit to the Miami International Autodrome saw teams apply only limited updates to their cars, at least in terms of what is expected next time out in Spain.

Contrary to predictions ahead of the Florida weekend, Ferrari limited developments on their F1-75 to new front and rear wings, characterised by a low load configuration suitable for the high-speed track.

In fact, the floor design that was briefly seen at the Pirelli test after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix did not make an appearance in any of the free practice sessions.

The definitive version of this floor is therefore expected to arrive at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, ​​with clear changes to the side edge profile.

According to sources, it will also feature new 'skids' - placed diagonally next to the Venturi channels - to replicate the solution deployed by Red Bull since the start of the season.

Alongside this, the diffuser - in its central section - should match what was trialled by Charles Leclerc in first practice in Australia, optimising the extraction of airflow from underneath the car.

It could be this element that guarantees the performance Ferrari lacked in Miami.

Last time out, the gap that separated Ferrari and Red Bull was not only down to the greater efficiency of the RB18 along the straights, but the F1-75's unexpected weakness in the slow sections.

Ferrari's degradation on the Medium compound tyre was particularly high, and only partially aggravated by the low-grip tarmac.

			© XPB Images
	© XPB Images

Red Bull's weight-saving mission continues

As for Red Bull, the Milton Keynes-based team - under Adrian Newey's technical direction - will introduce a significant package in Spain.

This should not only make the RB18's aerodynamic performance more effective, but also continue the weight-saving process started in Imola, where a lighter floor shaved around four kilograms.

The apparent goal is to lighten the car by another seven kilograms, bringing Red Bull ever closer to the 798kg minimum weight limit.

A host of components have been redesigned as part of this process, and not only at an aerodynamic level.

Many details, related both to the unsprung parts of the car, such as the hub carriers, and elements of the power unit - more specifically the cooling system (i.e. heat exchangers and radiators) - would have been overhauled, while ensuring the same heat exchange.

On an aerodynamic level, modifications are expected on the diffuser and the floor's leading edge. Changes to the rear wing should not be discounted, especially around the endplates.

As such, rivals are set to be watching closely when the latest updates are applied to the RB18, not only to understand the areas Newey and his team have focused on, but also to assess the financial impact of the package, with the budget cap in mind.

Are Red Bull staying within their budget?

In Miami, rumours went around the paddock - which our sources proved to be unfounded - about Red Bull already using up 75 per cent of their development budget for the season.

That would have meant around 27 million euros being spent from an estimated budget of just under 36 million.

However, since the beginning of the season, and more specifically the first test in Barcelona, ​​Red Bull's aero developments have focused exclusively on bodywork and the evolution of front and rear wings, depending on the specific load requirements of the various circuits.

Aside from this, the only other development was the aforementioned floor redesign, aimed at shedding weight. Some other CNC-machined elements were made lighter, but the economic impact of this would only be in the tens of thousands of euros.

According to our sources, in percentage terms, Red Bull have so far used no more than 18 per cent of their budget set for developments.

In fact, it seems that the package planned for Barcelona will not be Red Bull's biggest of the season. It is believed that they are already working towards major aero changes at Silverstone in early July.

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