Wind Tunnel Correlation Issues left Red Bull on Back Foot at Start of 2017


Correlation issues meant Red Bull went into the 2017 season on the back foot - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Christian Horner has revealed that his Red Bull Racing team were left on the back foot after correlation issues between their simulation models and what was seen on track.

The team principal of Red Bull felt the issues cost them around two-and-a-half months, with Horner feeling the wind tunnel was at fault for the problems, which has left the team as the third best team on the grid behind the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team and Scuderia Ferrari.

“I think coming into the season, we came in on the back foot really, [as] our tools weren’t correlating with what we were seeing on the track,” said Horner. “I think predominantly it was the wind tunnel that was leading us a little bit astray.

“The size of the model, the size of the tyres, in the tunnel that we have, gave some spurious results. Previously they’d been very, very reliable in specific areas, [but] suddenly we had this divergence between track, tunnel and CFD.

“It probably cost us around two months, two-and-a-half months, in terms of where it put us back to. Then, of course, you’re working flat out to try and recoup all of that time, but it’s not like all the other [teams] are standing still.”

Horner revealed that the delay in identifying the issues with the RB13 held the team back in the early stages of the season, and it was only at the Spanish Grand Prix that they began to make good progress with the car.

“It took… really it was around the Melbourne time that we identified where the issue was,” admitted Horner. “And then [we had] to unravel that situation and focus on developing the car and relying on the results we were getting.

“It was really Barcelona by the time we started to see good progress. Ever since Barcelona, each Grand Prix we managed to be getting more and more performance onto the car, so I think we have made good progress during the first half of the year.

“We lost a lot of ground early on, but we’re hoping for a much more competitive second half of the season.”