RedBull RB6: First impressions

RB6: a more raised V nose

RB6: Pull rod rear suspension has been retained

RB6: tall and narrow diffuser

RedBull surprised us all last year with a car far different to its rivals. Neweys nose up tail down approach was all about working the diffuser and rear wing harder. Even in its early format the RB5 was a match on pace for its double diffuser equipped peers. However the 2009 ar car was ill equipped to accept a doubel diffuser, the low mounted gearbox and crash structure impinged on the space needed for the diffuser. Its clear Newey has kept the basic conept of the car and redesigned the rear end to accomadate the bigger diffuser. While taking what was a unique and now more commonplace “V” nose to a greater extreme.

The whole front of the chassis appears to have been raised, but it is in fact the bulges formed by the tips of the “V” nose that are higher, Newey has done this to create a narrower cross-section down low, for more space between the front tyres to route airflow through the undercut sidepods and over the diffuser and beam wing. These shoulders atop the chassis no longer merge smoothly into the nose cone but are more truncated, the main shape of the removeable nosecone is now near hexagonal, and very shallow, drooping slightly toward the two camera pods mounted hammer head style at its tip. Beneath it is a derivative of the 2009 front wing with its complex curves and three element main plane bridged by the two element cascades.

Moving rearwards the roll structure, raised chassis, splitter and bargeboards all appear to be largely carried over from its predesessor. Although now housing a larger fuel tank.

The pod wings also take cues from the RB5 with the mirrors mounted on slim extensions from the top of the board. From the high and realtively small sidepod inlets the sidepods start off undercut and then turn into a downward flared shape as per the 09 car. diping along with the exhaust outlet under the rear suspension. The rear suspension is still high mounted and retains the pull rod suspension, but is not merged into the tail fin and not exposed atop the gearbox. The tail fin now features a far larger side area, and incorporates the tubular outlet and optional slots for engine cooling. the rear wing is endplate moutned, there appears to be no central support strut. and although the shark fin joins the rear wing this does not take the loads from the wing into the chassis.

At present the diffuser isnt fully evident, nor is the rear crash structure, which are likely to be the areas where the car diverges from its forebear.  What we can see is the launch diffuser (which may well change before Bahrain) is a long, narrow affair.  Merged into the tail of the cokebottle shape and featuring staggered exits to maximise the use of bodywork heights allowed at the rear of the car.

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