Friday, 30 July 2010

Red Bull flex their muscles

It was a clear and sunny day in Budapest and the picture on the track was pretty easy to see as well. After the blip of being outpaced by Ferrari five days ago, Red Bull dominated the practice running with Sebastian Vettel finishing the afternoon half a second clear of Fernando Alonso. Indeed the Spaniard and Ferrari look to the only challengers to Vettel and Mark Webber. McLaren were well off the pace and seem to have Renault for company. There was plenty of support for Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov in this 'Eastern European' grand prix and both men were quick as the twisty nature of the Hungaroring seem to suit the short wheel base of the R30.

Another prevalent issue is traffic. It was seen last weekend in the battle between the Ferrari's. Although the lap here is about six seconds longer than Germany, the flowing nature of the circuit means it can be hard for slow cars to get out of the way immediately when caught in a sequence of corners. We could well see some controversy on Sunday regarding that. Concrete on the outside of kerbs was also an issue. Charlie Whiting examined the final corner between sessions and Fernando Alonso also lifted a chunk with his diffuser at turn 9.

The main technical innovation under scrutiny is the flexible front wing which Ferrari and Red Bull. All wings are tested by the FIA with load tests and have to be within a certain threshold or are else deemed illegal. It seems that the two teams have created a wing that can flex but work in such a way that passes the FIA tests. Analysis on the practice coverage earlier showed how the Red Bull front wing was dropping really low on the straight, even seemingly scraping the ground. The Ferrari wing was also dropping but not as much whereas the McLaren wing was maintaining its position. They will be desperate to implement it on their car soon but it will take more than this component alone to bridge the gap to Red Bull, who look very strong for a victorious Sunday

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