Speculation over Red Bull DRS advantage grows, Ferrari boss wants answers

The RB19 is in another league when the DRS flap opens and nobody can understand why

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Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur wants answers as to how F1 rivals Red Bull have gained such an advantage when using DRS.

The reigning champions are considerably faster than everybody else, including the AlphaTauri team who use the same Red Bull Power Trains power unit, and it has given them a handy leg-up to lead the F1 championship by a whopping margin after just four races.

Ferrari boss Vasseur, who is currently having to rearrange his staff at Maranello after a number of high-profile exits, knows that his team have no chance of winning if they don’t find the secret to Red Bull‘s success.

“We have to find out because this is a clear competitive advantage,” Vasseur said at the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, after Ferrari claimed their first podium of the season courtesy of Charles Leclerc.

A possible explanation

Nobody knows exactly what Red Bull are doing but German outlet Auto Motor und Sport do have one potential explanation for Red Bull‘s sensational straight-line performance when using DRS.

“One theory is that when the flap is open on the RB19, the flow structures in the rear change in such a way that a stall occurs on the diffuser and on the beam wing under the rear wing at the same time. That would further reduce drag,” they write.

This advantage was even evident in testing as Red Bull were the fastest car in a straight line at the Bahrain International Circuit.

TeamTop speed (MPH/KPH)
Red Bull Racing203.1 / 326.9
Ferrari202.9 / 326.6
Williams201.8 / 324.8
Haas201.5 / 324.3
Alpine201.0 / 323.6
Aston Martin200.8 / 323.3
Alfa Romeo200.5 / 322.8
AlphaTauri200.2 / 322.2
McLaren200.0 / 322.0
Mercedes199.5 / 321.1

Ferrari are widely considered to have the strongest engine on the Formula 1 grid in 2023 but even the Prancing Horse haven’t been able to put up a fight when the Red Bull cars come steaming up behind them.

Joe Ellis
Joe Ellis
Motorsport journalist, indyCar correspondent and F1 writer for Total-Motorsport.com
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