Red Bull Faces Unexpected Struggles in Singapore Grand Prix
Having dominated the 2023 season so far by winning every race, Red Bull found itself unable to get one of its cars into Q3 for the first time since the 2018 Russian Grand Prix. While its pace was better in the race, it failed to finish on the podium.
This surprise change of form came on the same weekend that two separate rules clarifications from the FIA came into force regarding flexible body parts on Formula One cars.
The flexible body parts controversy has been a hot topic in the sport, with teams accused of gaining an advantage by using these parts, particularly the floor and wings, to increase aerodynamic performance.
Red Bull, known for its innovative design approaches, must have anticipated the impact of the new rules. However, their struggles during the Singapore Grand Prix suggests that the crackdown on flexible body parts may have affected their performance more than expected.
Flexi Floors and Wing Clampdowns
The FIA’s rules clarifications were aimed at reducing the extent to which certain car parts can flex under aerodynamic load. Flexing of these components can result in a significant performance gain by altering the airflow and increasing downforce.
Red Bull has been at the forefront of exploiting this design loophole in the past, which allowed them to generate more grip and speed through corners.
However, the FIA’s clampdowns on flexi floors and wings may have caught Red Bull off guard, leading to their unexpected struggles in the Singapore race.
Implications for Red Bull’s Championship Bid
Red Bull’s struggles in Singapore not only ended their winning streak but also had implications for their championship bid. With Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton finishing second, the gap in the championship standings has narrowed.
Max Verstappen, who had been leading the championship by a significant margin, now faces increasing pressure from Hamilton. The Red Bull driver will need to quickly adapt to the new regulations and find his pace again if he wants to maintain his lead in the title race.
The unexpected struggles faced by Red Bull in the Singapore Grand Prix have raised questions about the impact of the FIA’s clampdowns on flexible body parts. As the championship battle intensifies, it remains to be seen how Red Bull will respond to these challenges and whether they can regain their dominant form in the remaining races of the season.