Saturday, October 13, 2012


It would seem that the Red Bulls have found new energy lately since Suzuka to lock out the front row of the last 2 races. Have they got wings or do they have the energy drink mixed in with their fuel? A lot of rumours is going round that they have mastered the rear wing DRS or DDRS (Double DRS). This coincided with their new wing they introduced in Singapore.

Although the new wing was introduced in Singapore, it did not immediately become clear how the performance was going to affect the car. Vettel qualified P3 (6/10ths behind pole sitter Hamilton) and Webber P7 (1.1s behind). Those were huge numbers and I had thought at the time that finally the Bulls were losing some steam and we should still have an interesting end to the season.

Then we came to Suzuka. In Suzuka suddenly the Bulls locked out the front row by half a second. Vettel then proceeded to win the race from lights to flag without breaking a sweat and leaving second placed Massa 20 seconds in his wake. It was a dominant race for him.

And now we come to Korea. Again, the Bulls were fast in practice (FP2 and Saturday) and in qualifying locked out the front row again. This time Webber had pole ahead of Vettel. Lewis Hamilton had to wring his cars neck just to get P3, 2/10ths away. And how will it be tomorrow in the race? Will the Bulls again pull away as if they were just racing by themselves? Will this new wing of theirs spoil the run up to the last race?

If things go as they are now, I'm afraid Vettel and Red Bull might just win the championship again. We won't have an exciting last race, last lap championship decider of years past. So what is so great about this new wing? Did Red Bull crack the mystery of DRS or Double DRS?

The idea is a simple variation on something tried by Lotus this year, to shed even more drag than a standard DRS wing. The Red Bull idea works more like the Mercedes F Duct front wing; when the DRS is activated it opens a hole (where the narrow, curved grey piece is on the inside of the endplate) to channel air through the rear wing endplate and out through the main beam of the wing (the lower part), shedding drag. It also exits onto the diffuser, helping with rear balance. It helps with top speed and speed through fast corners.

Simple and good. At the end of the day, it works as we can see from the results so far.

“As with all these things, there's never a silver bullet and I think it would be very difficult to say the car's performance is purely down to a rear wing,” Team Principal Christian Horner is quoted as saying byReuters. “I think we've made progress in all areas and it's about chipping away at the detail.”

Of course when you have a silver bullet, you don't actually tell people you have a silver bullet. That would defeat the purpose, wouldn't it?

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