Turkey: Red Bull F-duct revealed

Red Bull have been the last of the top teams to debut their f-duct.  Like Ferrari they have had to engineer the set up into a chassis not designed to route the ducting through the cockpit.  From this image from WRI2.net  we can see the duct is far more complex than a simple tube from the cockpit to the rear wing.  In Red Bulls case and similar to Ferraris solution, the duct is fed from the roll hoop and then goes into a split duct, one section leading to the rear wings flap and one which passes under the wing.  This lower duct appears to be the default route for the air, before the driver engages the duct.  Air simply passes under the rear wing for no effect.  There is also a part of the circuit that routes into the cockpit to be closed off by the driver to control the airflow through the circuit.  whats curious is that the duct appears to be linked to the airbox, this might be a simple mounting point or some influence from the positive pressure inside the airbox.

Red Bull have decided not to use their duct for this weekends race.


17 thoughts on “Turkey: Red Bull F-duct revealed

    • Where do you see “a part of the circuit that routes into the cockpit to be closed off by the driver to control the airflow through the circuit”?


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  2. Do you have any info on the McLarens moving their cockpit switch to beside the steering wheel, you could see the McLaren drivers using it extensively in Turkey.

    • You sure? With the advantage of a properly integrated (braking-foot or left-knee activated) f-duct, why on earth would McLaren even consider switching to something as horribly sub-optimal as the ‘look ma, no-hands’ Ferrari-style ducting?

      Do you have a handy photo or video reference for that, all the onboards I saw, except brake-balance, the McLaren driver’s hands never left the wheel. They also used their normal racing gloves, not the padded-pillows seen elsewhere.

      I did see Lewis with a relatively new style, constantly shuffling position on the “open-bottom” style wheel that McLaren are using this year, but I doubt it was anything to do with switching the rear-wing, the movement was only ever up/down, not to the cockpit sides.
      In the fewer onboard opportunities, Button never once moved his hands.

      • If you watch the race on Iplayer, a great example for Lewis is at 1:44:15 , I don’t think it’s brake bias since his finger tips are still on the wheel. There are other examples for Lewis. But I couldn’t find any onbaord of Jenson apart from the battle with Lewis.

      • @Owen, I have since grabbed the onboard feed, dominated by Lewis and Jenson laps, and am still not convinced that there is any new duct.

        Not really sure what the story or motivation is with Lewis’ new wheel-grip technique, maybe someone could ask someone, it looks tricky to me, but in dozens of laps his hands still only shuffle up and down it, lightly gripping the lower ‘horns’ down the straight.
        They never really move outside the area that a normal grip would include. The movement is in very marked contrast to the hand-operated f-duct action required by other teams. You should see Pedro, there’s no mistaking the move there.

        From the many extra laps available in this feed, Jenson still never once moves, or removes, his hands in any way, at any point of the lap.

        Unless we think Lewis had an extra duct to stall something else, an option not made available to Jenson, I still don’t see why anyone would willingly trade-in the logical and elegant ergonomics of a left-leg duct for a clumsy and inefficient hand operated one.

      • @Feynman

        Do you have any footage of Jenson onboard? From what I can see he does something very similar.(But I have only seen about 5 seconds worth.

        Still why does he only do it on straights and light bends, and only on one side. I can’t think of any other reason why he would put his wrist there.

        I can’t think why they would move the duct, I will try to find some Jenson videos in the mean time though.

      • If you look-back at the early races, Lewis doesn’t really do the the shuffle-down.
        Bahrain there is perhaps a very early prototype of the move on the front straight, but not yet the full-monty, in Oz he does occasionally very slightly lower his left hand on some straights, but it is minimal, he still remains firmly hooked through the thumb hole.

        But by China down the back-straight he is pretty much doing the complete lazy-left (as this move will now certainly be styled). Not quite, but almost the finished article.

        If I was forced to have a bet, and without a decent photo of the cockpit we are all still guessing, I’d suggest that it is just a comfort/relaxed light-touch thing that he is experimenting with.
        There is still a distinct lack of any lateral movement.
        Obviously the right hand can’t participate due to upshifts on the straight.

        Could be an elbow-duct?
        Perhaps the left leg thing is not quite as optimal as we all think, but McLaren wanted to keep the action hidden; however once they saw Ferrari not penalised by stewards for driving no-hands, they moved the duct into the cockpit … but that doesn’t match with the gradual and progressive evolution of the new grip from season start, and only one driver.

        And if there were a new option available, I’d have thought it would be the taller, more cramped Button that would be first to switch from leg to arm, not Hamilton. He is still sitting high and his legs must be jammed in there.

        Anyone got a really clean photo into the left-hand side of the cockpit? Nah, doubt it.

        Either way, for what it’s worth, here is 10minutes of Jenson not much moving his left hand at all as he circulates the Turkish track, watch it before FOM do:

        … camera switches just too late, but still good enough to see that, contrary to commentary, no contact between them going through Turn 1.

      • @feynman

        Yeah I guess it’s not the hand. It could still be elbow operated and Lewis having shorter arms and perhaps a different steering wheel distance then it could be more noticeable.

        Yeah it doesn’t look like F-Duct operation for sure, I guess we will have to find out in Canada, until then it’s just Lewis being weird.

  3. In these two photos you can see than when they have the f-duct set up, the top of the airbox seems to be split off and I assume it’s going into the duct.

  4. I’ve seen nothing int he videos that confirms the drivers are controlling the duct with their hand. although they do have an odd grip with their left hand, which leaves some doubt remaining.

    Red Bull have been hits with diffuser, suspension profile and front splitter clarifications. If there was anything the FIA didn’t like about their front wing it would have emerged by now.

    • I have heard you mention several times regarding a fluidic switch. I am wondering whether the original in the McLaren actually needs a fluidic switch? Because if the hole in the McLaren cockpit is big enough, they just may be able to manage it without requiring a fluidic switch. The opposition have to go that route because they could never incorporate the size of channel in an existing cockpit.

      I could never fully accept the concept of a fluidic switch within the remit of the current regulations. More a further stretching of the regulations because of McLarens original concept.

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