Red Bull Honda F1 is expected to be already at a disadvantage towards 2021 due to regulation changes that reduce floor space.
In view of the impact of the new coronavirus, the chassis used this year will basically be used as it is in 2021, but the FIA (International Automobile Federation) may have a significant impact on the performance of the machine. Made some changes.
This change is believed to affect the battle between Mercedes and Red Bull Honda, which adopt a completely different type of machine concept.
The biggest change in 2021 is on the floor, with downforce estimated to be reduced by about 10%. The FIA has decided on this change for safety considering the increased load on the Pirelli tires.
Until this season, the floor ran straight from the widest point of the chassis (the end of the cockpit) to the rear tires. In recent years, as the rear of the machine has become thinner, the edges of the floor have become structurally “useless”.
However, the fact that they are still there is related to the large amount of downward pressure that the floor can generate. The tilt angle (rake) of the floor works in conjunction with the diffuser to generate negative pressure under the machine, so to speak, sucking in the ground.
But starting next season, the F1 team will need to cut this part of the floor diagonally from the cockpit to the rear wheels. In that case, the floor will be another 10 cm inside with the rear wheels. The green triangle in the photo below shows which part of the floor disappears.
In addition to partially removing the floor, all slots and holes in the rest of the floor are also banned. They were also placed there to generate as much downward pressure as possible. Overall, it is estimated that this change will slow the machine by about 0.5 seconds per lap.
These rules are the same for all F1 teams, but the effects are never the same. Most F1 teams have different wheelbases and different floor sizes. There are also differences in “rake angle” between teams.
Red Bull Racing and Mercedes have adopted the opposite concept in that respect. The Mercedes wheelbase is long and relatively flat against the ground, while the Red Bull has a relatively short wheelbase and leans excessively forward. Needless to say, cutting out a portion of the floor has no proportional effect on both teams.
At this point, only the wind tunnels of both teams can tell exactly what the effect is. What is certain is that Mercedes will lose a larger part of the floor.At first glance, this rule change would be more damaging, as they generate downforce primarily depending on the increase in floor area.
However, Red Bull Racing loses a larger percentage of the floor due to its shorter wheelbase. More importantly, the concept of “high rake” causes Red Bull to generate more negative pressure per square centimeter, so that each square centimeter loses relatively more downward pressure than Mercedes. become.
Of course, these are just assumptions, and only Milton Keenes wind tunnel aerodynamic specialists know exactly how much they will actually lose, but based on these hypotheses, Red Bull will be in 2021. It is already considered to be at a disadvantage towards.