Red Bull has brought its second major sidepod upgrade of the 2023 Formula 1 season to the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The new version is a more extreme evolution of the package introduced at April’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, when a wider, shorter cooling inlet was introduced.
This was analysed in detail by The Race’s technical expert, Gary Anderson, who cited it as Red Bull’s biggest upgrade of the season and reckoned it was a more significant change than the team was letting on. That upgrade was certainly effective in increasing downforce and doing so efficiently.
The Hungary package means Red Bull now has a full letterbox-shaped cooling inlet.
This creates space for the sidepod undercut to be more aggressive, increasing the airflow being taken around the sidepods and fed towards the rear of the car.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said after the Austrian Grand Prix three weeks ago that the Red Bull RB19 “is not that different” to how it was at the start of the season.
This is down to the team having to be selective with how it uses its available aerodynamic testing time given it has the smallest ATR allocation, with the additional 10% reduction on top of that as a punishment for breaching the cost cap in 2021.
But it has made progress and this is another step in the evolutionary direction that was set earlier in the season, indicating that Red Bull recognises there’s plenty more performance to be extracted from this concept.