Inside Line: Is the Red Bull RB10 going to be Newey’s first flop since the RB4

Adrian Newey watched the Red Bull RB10 under deliver at Jerez

Adrian Newey watched the Red Bull RB10 under deliver at Jerez

Adrian Newey made a hasty departure from Jerez when it was evident that the marriage between his latest brainchild and the all new Renault V6 turbo, plus all the hybrid appendages, were akin to fire and ice when all bolted together in the original Red Bull RB10 package – is this his first real flop since the RB3 of 2007?

Reports from Milton Keynes are that the midnight oil is burning brightly at the World Champion team’s factory, in the aftermath of their distrous journey to southern Spain, as Newey and his team race against time to produce the ‘RB10 Plan-B.’

It is no secret that the RB10 is incapable of dealing with the heat being generated by the new Power Units and the gizmos plugged into the new generation cars. Newey’s radical packaging, which includes the long tapered rear-end, is not allowing for the required cooling, creating more issues for the already problematic Renault power plant.

Red Bull RB10

Red Bull RB10

Furthermore the RB10, which has been designed to Newey’s traditional principles of maximum aero efficiency, features electrical cabling solutions which are unconventional to say the least – and here is the crux of the orginal RB10’s failings: how much can can you sacrifice in the search of aerodynamic Valhalla with these new era F1 cars?

Has Newey gone a step too far with his latest creation? Is this the first flop after four years of mega-success for F1’s most esteemed designer?

At this early stage of the game it appears so, hence in Bahrain the RB10 will be hugely revised to accommodate the belligerent requirements of Renault’s RSF1 Power Unit and sacrifice some of the aero to allow for cooling of the unit and sundries.

Daniel Ricciardo did not do many laps at Jerez

Daniel Ricciardo did not do many laps at Jerez

Make no mistake Newey’s original concept will remain waiting in the wings for better days as the genius is in the detail – under the skin as they say – but meanwhile they need a race car which has to be on the grid by 16 March in Melbourne.

Hence the RB10 Plan-B option, because at the moment the original piece of kit only completed 21 laps in the four days at Jerez – with Sebastian Vettel, not known for his patience when dealing with failure, making an early B-line out of town when it became apparent that things had gone pear shaped. This left the team’s new boy Daniel Ricciardo to soak up the media heat with his ever present good disposition, gushing enthusiastically and claiming that everything will be alright on the night.

The 2014 World Championship will not be won in the first three or four races of the season, and even if this is a flop of a design, it should only be a temporary hitch. If Newey is hurting because his latest ‘baby’ has faltered, rival teams should not be rubbing their hands together in glee, but rather fearing what he will unleash to rectify the problem.

Sebastian Vettel did not have a happy return to work

Sebastian Vettel did not have a happy return to work

And even if it is late in the season that Newey’s child flourishes, will it be a case of “no problem” because the final round is a double points affair? How ironic it would be if the title is decided in their favour at the Abu Dhabi finale!

However between now and then much depends on what Red Bull delivers in time for Bahrain’s double header testing and beyond that. For now the World Champions start the season on the back foot, defending rather than attacking.

But be assured they will rip through the ‘budget cap and spare little effort to ensure that the RB10’s current shortcomings are a mere blip, soon to be forgotten, and that their ‘RB10 Plan-B’ reaffirms Newey’s grand stature at the peak of the sport.

Anything less then – yes – Newey’s 2014 effort is his first flop since the forgettable RB4 which came after the equally woeful RB3, the two cars collecting a mere two podiums in 35 races and 22 DNFs in the process. (Inside Line by Paul Velasco)

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  • Karlich

    It would be interesting to know whether the author of this article merely expressed his own speculative opinions or whether they have received confirmation from Red Bull that their current plan of action is a Plan B redesign of RB10?

    My apologies if I am too suspicious, but parts of this story regarding Red Bull’s future plans sound like they were pulled from thin air.

  • Spartacus

    “guest column which does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Grand Prix 247″

    Strange how Paul Velasco states on his Linked In profile that he’s a photographer and editor for Grand Prix 247. Hardly a “guest”!

    However, to write off Red Bull at this stage would be foolish, especially given how the other Renault teams have faired too.

  • Editor

    We will get rid of the guest bit

  • farizY

    “However, to write off Red Bull at this stage would be foolish, especially given how the other Renault teams have faired too.”

    Exactly, however, if this isn’t RB’s year, I guess, that’s normal in F1, dominance come and go. But hopefully they’ll sort out all those issues. Hoping for a cracking season!!

  • Montell Francis

    think back to 2005 where newey made a very compact, fast but unreliable mclaren. if they dont solve this 100% then things could be worse for RB than what things were for mclaren were in terms of reliability in 2005 and kimi should have won that year hands down. last year RB said the rb10 would be kinda like an evolution of the 2013 car, but maybe they thought that what served them well for 4 years would translate to this new era. Renult engines are looking rubbish this year so far so even if RB solve all the cooling problems renult could let them down. if renult dont sort this out early into the bahrain tests then all renult teams WILL flop as they would have much less aerodynamic data.

  • Guest

    no smoke without fire. RB more than even the other renult cars have had cooling problems in the sidepods which is nothing to do with renult. it all seems too compact, so the sidepods would be changed which will effect aero. this means a big redesign could be due.

  • Emiguel

    It is totally a renault fault for not giving the teams a minimum requirement of cooling and space needed for their system to work, as always they try to find who is guilty prior to finding the solution together, lets not forget that every team with the renault unit suffered from problems related to the renault package……