Chips F1 – Burnt horn

Chips F1 – Burnt horn

Ojiplático we all stayed after the announcement of Red Bull with its sports car for five million britis páuns the piece plus taxes. But many engineers from other formations changed the gesture in disgust.

“Here’s Something Else”said more than one. The subject continues to be surprising. Red Bull, an energy drink that is dedicated to running one of the most successful racing teams of the century, a benchmark in the speed elite, brings out a two-seater mega sports car. Behind the idea is the infinite ingenuity of Adrian Newey, who has already done something similar with a virtual single-seater with faired wheels and a closed cockpit. He later got his claws into the Aston Martin Valkyrie, but this now has another aspect, something more… weird.

Red Bull had never built a car before, a car that was not a Formula 1, and yet they proudly state that their new device will be conceived, designed, and assembled entirely under the roof of their factory in Milton-Keynes. Entire, without resorting to other people’s engines, or this is what they imply. It is understandable even if it is the latter, about the sensitive elements that make up the propeller. The exotic is that today there is talk of a possible agreement with Porsche for 2026, but they acquired the junk from Honda to rename them Red Bull Powertrains.

“When everything has been fine-tuned, when you have already obtained what you were looking for, you enter it in F1 and nothing has happened here”

So we have a team that had never made their engines, that threw frogs and snakes against those of Renault, that were not up to the task when they were previously awarded titles, that were only half happy with Honda, although they made Max champion Verstappen. When the Japs decided to tear down the barracks, they bought systems, personnel and a company from them… but today each of the engines that break down is still being sent to Japan for diagnosis and repair. (And better not to continue because this is all a very strange mess, and it takes a cryptography expert from the CNI to understand it).

But the problem is other one

The diatribe has been fired at the discretion of those who talk about these things in front of coffee machines, in corridors, and dining rooms with menus subsidized by their teams. Red Bull’s move has made many technicians who believe that there is something else under the blue carpet wince. “I would say that what they are looking for is an excuse to break the budget limit. I don’t think they will run that car at Le Mans even though they insist on calling it a Hypercar.”. The speaker is a mid-level engineer from a Formula 1 team who doubts privately, and never publicly, the intentions of those from Milton-Keynes.

«They are going to sell a ‘street’ car, which in reality is only going to roll on circuits, as an independent project and what they are going to get as a rebound is to spend hours on concepts such as aero, material resistance tests, tests with the new gas. It would not be a mule as we know them, but it leaves an aroma of a financial trick, rather than a technical one», the engineer abounds. Financial constraints have forced large teams to limit their creative teams, and not just money, but a lot of staff has had to be assigned to other projects.

Adrian Newey (left) and Christian Horner captain the RB17 project.

Ferrari will enter the resistance with a Hypercar, Williams has moved many of its people to everything related to Formula E, McLaren has done the same in its expansion towards Indycar or Extreme E, or Red Bull itself has referred to a lot of gray matter to its innovative technological arm Red Bull Advanced Technologies. Another anonymous engineer from a competing team privately states “If you want a new machining machine, you put it in the ‘Advanced Technologies’ quote and then you take any part there, you upgrade it., and you’ll find a way to transfer the results from one side to another. Another typical move is wind tunnel maintenance. If you want to install a new technology, you test it with the ‘mule’ to see that the data received has the expected quality. The development of that piece, that solution, that material or that design no longer falls within the calculations of the Formula 1 team, but rather a twin project. When everything has been fine-tuned, when you have already obtained what you were looking for, you introduce it in F1 and nothing has happened here. Yes, we are afraid that some will do this », she affirms with some regret.

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“Obviously this is applicable to tests of materials, processes, heat treatments or fatigue of parts that do not have to be exactly the ones that you end up mounting in a single-seater, but you already have the data. Developing this is very expensive, and most importantly, it takes time to get results, a time that you may not have if you use a single development team, but you do have if you use two. For the gallery, at a public level, the transfer of knowledge looks very good, and it is partly true. The engineers on that project are usually good, they work well, and they have F1 experience because they actually come from it. That is the true transfer of knowledge, human capital.”

Questioned by a third orphaned expert by name, he states “I don’t know, eh, but that’s what I smell. It is a project relatively similar to a Formula 1, with aerodynamics similar to that of a Formula 1, and measures similar to a Formula 1. It is not a mule because it would be prohibited, but a good excuse to obtain more development avoiding budget limitations . Put the new fuels to test, and you already have an advantage. Add that you could design it based on ground effect you can experiment with it, in an unlimited way, to avoid porpoising in F1. Do you need new materials in F1 to reduce the carbon footprint, at a lower cost, but that you know little about resistance, durability, and efficiency? Well, we are going to do many tests with this other and analyze its properties without any brake. We are going to try 5 ways to manufacture this piece to see which is cheaper and which gives better results».

«All this is possible when you have a project like this, and it is what many fear. In reality, there is nothing concrete that makes me think so, but it can be seen from afar that it could be like that. Asked a fourth member, his idea is similar. «Yes, 100% agree, what’s more, all the teams are going to do the same. Some will make boats, others cars, others coffee makers… They are not technical reasons, it is financial engineering. I assign x hours to the boat project, and thus it does not count towards the budget limit. Cleaning the factory, fixing the garden, cleaning the windows, maintenance, everything that is not specifically developing an F1 will be part of the boat project… or the coffee pot.” And he adds something else, a phrase that asks for marble in this time of restrictions: “If you don’t have something like that, you’re dead in F1.” Dead? Questions. “I’m sorry, but that’s how it is,” he replies.

The conclusion, without wanting to accuse anyone of anything, is that there is a strange aroma in the air that all these parallel projects will end up converging towards a single site, the one with the fat business, the most competitive, the one that gets media coverage and money. It is a sign that budget limits… can be waded. In Formula 1 this has been done all our lives with the technical regulations. Now it’s time to do them with the financial ones. What a surprise? Red Bull will sell 50 cars for five million pounds, and with it will invoice 2,500 million pounds. Well, they will have to melt pasta based on good in whatever they see fit. Mere opinions, hey.

Photos: Red Bull Content Pool