Verstappen and Albon trial new Red Bull F1 aero tweaks at Suzuka

Jake Boxall-Legge, Giorgio Piola
Red Bull trials new aero tweaks at Suzuka
Red Bull trials new aero tweaks at Suzuka

Red Bull has emerged at Suzuka with a dramatic new S-duct on its RB15 Formula 1 car, making its first appearance in FP1 ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.

During Thursday's scrutineering, Max Verstappen's car was spotted with a smaller S-duct outlet at the point where the nosecone transitions to the chassis bulkhead.

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Alex Albon also ran the new design in FP1, although Red Bull has the previous specification also available.

Having become common in Formula 1, the S-duct takes a supply of turbulent airflow from underneath the nose, channels it upwards and redirects it to the top of the chassis.

This is to minimise the effect of the turbulence underneath the nose which can affect the aerodynamic performance further down, while also helping to trim any boundary layer growth on the top of the chassis - which occurs when a flow of air loses energy.

Red Bull has retained the slot on the top, which guides further airflow on top of the air expelled from the outlet to manage how it passes over the top of the chassis.

There will be a small drag penalty associated with this, but Red Bull's smaller outlet seems to be an answer to reducing this.


Red Bull trials new aero tweaks at Suzuka
Red Bull trials new aero tweaks at Suzuka

Both drivers were also running different DRS actuator layouts, with Verstappen trialling a higher mounting to bring the device out of the line of fire to the rear wing.

This was linked to the difference in rear wing configuration, in which Albon ran a longer-chord upper wing element while Verstappen ran one with a shorter chord but with greater curvature - known as camber.

Red Bull is also running with a brand new fuel this weekend, aiming to boost the performance of Honda's Spec 4 engine at the manufacturer's home round.

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