Gary Anderson: How Red Bull’s dramatic sidepod design works

by AryanArtnews
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Illustration by Rosario Juliana

With a super-aggressive undercut on the front, Red Bull’s side pod design is one of the most visually distinctive designs so far, one of the major technical issues in the 2022 F1 preseason. am.

This design tries to do the same thing that all F1 teams do with side pods. This is just one of its interpretations.

It’s all about maximizing ground effect aero by ensuring the highest quality, highest speed airflow to the rear of the car and sealing the underfloor.

We talk a lot about the structure and vortices of the flow, but sometimes it’s easier to understand what’s happening with visual aids.

The front of the side pods is designed to push airflow around the sides of the car. The airflow is sent in several different directions.

The green arrow shows the airflow passing over the top of the underfloor surface. It flows along the undercuts of the side pods and feeds into the gap between the diffuser inner wall and the rear wheel fairing.

There are some very strong turning vanes attached directly to the rear wheel insider fairing that pick up the flow and rotate it upwards, creating significant suction in this area of ​​the wheel.

These winglets apply aerodynamic loads directly to the rear wheel assembly without passing through the suspension. This means that downforce is instantly and consistently present when the chassis is moving during braking.

The red arrow indicates that the airflow passing over the top under the floor merges with the blue and yellow airflow.

Together, they set up a vortex that travels along the outer edge of the back of the floor. It rotates clockwise on this side of the car when viewed from the front.

These are important to keep the underfloor sealed from the outside world. That is, the underfloor produces a much higher aerodynamic load. Ground effect The last generation of F1 cars had side skirts that touched the ground, but these vortices form a “virtual” skirt to maintain the low pressure area under the floor.

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Red Bull also has two small notches that help start and provide space for these vortices to form.

Depending on how the tire moves the air in front of the tire as the tread spins on the track surface, some of this air flow goes around the outside of the tire and some goes inside the tire. This is commonly known as a tire gush.

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