How the Red Bull RB20 changes the game in 2024

Jaden Diaz

The Red Bull RB20 is faced with a new challenge in 2024, following last year’s dominant season. With 24 races ahead this year, the team aims to build upon their advantage from last year’s finale in Abu Dhabi.

Slowing down or becoming complacent is not a part of the Austrian outfit’s DNA.

The car produced by Adrian Newey and Pierre Wachè established itself as the reference last year. As a result, most of Red Bull’s rivals spent the winter making their own interpretations of their philosophy.

Red Bull changes the game again by pursuing new direction

Front Axle: Although the RB20 contains some of last year’s ideas, the aerodynamicists pursued a brand new direction with their nose. The front wing component is extremely flattened and elongated on the main plane.

Almost immediately, an aggressive step was taken compared to last year.

This solution goes against the trend of most engineers’ assumptions over the last two seasons. The elements are in continuity, at present, with an even lower drag basic specification.

Red Bull’s front suspension is a coherent evolution of the excellent anti-dive geometry, confirming the pull-rod linkage with which the 2022 project was born. 

Chassis –  Adrian Newey and his technical team have redone this component, as seen by the new roll-hoop.

Now triangular, rather than the 2023 oval shape, the classic lateral ears are designed to guarantee improved airflow. This works to complement the cooling requirements of the power unit. 

A drive for performance was combined with safeguards to ensure reliability.

Sidepods: The redesigned sidepods are one of the surprises of this RB20. Red Bull has emphasised their existing concept, extending and flattening the inlets.

This area is less visible in the front section in search of greater efficiency.

Now, we can see how that area has been replaced by a diverter, which anticipates the flows even better to maximize the undercut.

Red Bull’s sidepod entry has an opening underneath with a shape reminiscent of the shark. This has been combined with totally new sockets in the lateral attack area of ​​the Halo. A vertical intake is confirmed, but it would suggest a bypassing duct.

The excavation has been remodelled and expanded in the scope of the undercut. Additionally, there are now drop ramps in place – rather than keeping the area totally smooth.

At least for now, this represents some continuity from 2023.

Finally, there is a visible pocket in front of the rear suspension, likely confirming the presence of a long by-pass duct.

Red Bull’s floor in this initial specification has retained and extended the side extractors

Bonnet and rear axle: The aerodynamics of the bodywork have been completely revised.

Ironically, there was clearly inspiration from the so-called cannon solution introduced by Mercedes on the W14. This component, introduced at Silverstone, has already been taken up by several designers.

Note that there are now some larger openings to contribute to cooling. The final part of the rear vent has a steeper drop towards the beam wing.

This concept is completely opposite to the one shown by Ferrari, for example, which remains very flat in that section while opening the vent around the exhaust.

Red Bull’s design on the RB20 could exchange efficiency in the upper part to generate increased airflow towards the diffuser ramp.

The rear suspension is still a push-rod and seems to have been significantly refined in geometry, as well as in size.

There are also modifications to the anchors, exacerbating that now well-known concept of anti-squat.

Authors: Giuliano Duchessa & Rosario Giuliana

Translation: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang