You may have thought that now most of the new cars have been launched, few changes would be made prior to the first race in Australia next month. Well, you’d be wrong if you thought that as the teams are busy trying out new parts all the time, none more so than Red Bull. The squad, under the watchful eye of Adrian Newey, turned up at Barcelona this morning with a very interesting addition to the engine cover on their RBR4.
I guess it can only be described as a fin, and replaces the traditional downward curve of the spine on the back of the car. The fin moves back away from the roll-hoop and then cuts around the rear wing and back down to where the gear box is positioned. The idea is apparently in an attempt to improve the stability of the car when it slides laterally. This could prove quite effective under braking as the new ECU diminishes the engine braking and causes some instability as the cars approach corners. Whether or not the device will make onto the race car in Australia is yet to be seen, but as it stands, it looks ugly but does provide extra space for sponsors.
If Red Bull find the fin effective I suspect it could become a standard part, changing the way Formula One cars look a fair bit and reclaiming some of the lost performance from the new standard ECU rules.