Regulation changes ‘pro’ Red Bull
In 2022, Red Bull and Scuderia Ferrari were adversaries in the first half of the Formula One season, fighting on the same level of performance. Only power unit reliability issues and some questionable strategic decisions from the Maranello pit wall, as was the case in Monaco, Hungary and at Silverstone, prevented Charles Leclerc from contending for the world title with Max Verstappen for a longer period.
During the summer break, teams had to take action to comply with the FIA technical directive TD039 issued for safety reasons to try to limit the phenomenon of porpoising, an aerodynamic bounce that troubled several teams in 2022. Scuderia Ferrari and, especially, Mercedes suffered from this phenomenon, unlike Red Bull, which handled this side effect of ground-effect cars well from the early tests.
In addition to the technical directive, important regulatory changes were also ratified during the summer break of 2022 in preparation for the 2023 Formula One season. Always with the aim of limiting porpoising, it was established that the bottom of the cars would be lengthened by 15 millimeters, and the ground clearance ‘raised’ by ten millimeters.
Adrian Newey revealed an interesting behind-the-scenes story about the reactions of some Red Bull technicians to these regulatory changes: “When the change in the regulations was announced last year, some of our technicians argued that as a team, we should fight against this decision to prevent it from being ratified,” said the aerodynamics wizard in an interview with The-Race.com. “I, on the other hand, believed that last year we were behind Ferrari in terms of performance in high-speed corners. Our car had issues in high-speed corners, so the change in regulations could be suitable for us, so we didn’t insist too much in contesting this decision. In the end, it seems to have worked out well for us.” – the chief technical officer of the Red Bull Racing F1 team concluded.