The pit lane of the Circuit de Catalunya is a feast for the eyes for fans of technique, with almost all the teams on the grid introducing updates on the occasion of the Spanish trip, some of which are real revolutions. However, this is not the case with Red Bull, which continues with its own approach of a fractional development by constantly introducing small changes at each race, but which in the overall balance are helping to relaunch the RB18 in the fight for the title. The appointment in Miami had represented a momentary halt to the evolution of the Milton-Keynes car, which nevertheless restarted decisively with the arrival of the Circus in Barcelona.
The RB18 of Spain has a new bottom. Compared to the previous version, the Catalan specification is distinguished by a bulge at the front in the area immediately behind the side, just behind the entrance section of the lateral Venturi channels. According to the description provided by the team in the official FIA document, the “bubble” helps to increase the local pressure in the upper part of the bottom, resulting in an increase in aerodynamic load. Another difference that emerges from the Catalan update is the different trend of the lateral edge of the bottom itself. The profile now continues continuously up to the rear wheel, while in the specification in use up to Miami there was a mid-length indentation. The new bottom thus increases the useful surface for load generation and is obviously the result of better aerodynamic management achieved by the team in isolating the underbody from the external environment.
In Barcelona, Red Bull is also equipped with a new front wing, mainly characterized by an increased terminal profile, with a more extended rope and greater camber angles to ensure more grip at the front on a highly loaded track such as the Catalan one.
The Milton Keynes team thus continues the development of the RB18 in small but constant steps, in contrast to a Ferrari that pursues the approach of more full-bodied packages but introduced occasionally. The Spanish Grand Prix will return the verdict on which strategy has been the most effective so far.