Williams a source of inspiration for Red Bull’s updates to the RB19

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Photo credit: Williams Racing

Inspiration can come from the most suprising sources, and for Red Bull’s design team it was last year’s Williams FW44. The RB19 was given updates to the floor edge and diffuser for last week’s Spanish Grand Prix, and it was the latter that was inspired by the Grove-outfit. The initial description in the notes provided by the FIA already hinted at them borrowing the idea from other teams:

“A small increase in local load towards the trailing edge of the diffuser profile in the upper corners has been extracted with a more curved profile taking inspiration from competitor designs.”

It was later revealed that this competitor was Williams, who had this idea on an early iteration of their 2022 contender, the FW44. And although it was the slowest car on the grid last year, it did eventually prove beneficial, chief engineer Paul Monaghan explained:

“You can’t assume that you have the best solution in all areas of the car when you first put your car on the ground.

“Our currency is lap time, isn’t it? If you look, that piece of floor design that was out early 2022. I recall the Williams had it quite early on and some other people had it.”

He added that it wasn’t a clear cut case of copy and paste, but that it actually required some design effort to get it incorporated into the RB19’s philosophy.

“It didn’t necessarily work for us then, but we’ve looked at it a couple of times, and it’s a small benefit. It looks like a slightly larger change than is actually realised, as it’s coming towards the back of the floor. So it’s not going to be the most influential thing, but it helps a little bit. And you’re quite constrained height-wise, where we can do it.

“It’s been there for a while in our work. But we were in a position where we could include that in that local bit of the floor, and we’ve done it.”

Given that Red Bull’s concept is copied by their nearest rivals Mercedes and Ferrari, it is remarkable to see that it can be beneficial to not only look at the front-runners.