The Red Bull RB6 with the fake exhaust below the rear wing
The real exhausts, below the green pullrod
It seems as if Red Bull has been attempting to decieve the rest of the paddock, as it emerged today that it was using stickers to fake the location of its exhausts.
Over the last few weeks of testing, you may have seen the pictures of the RB6 with the exhausts apparently at the end of the engine cover, just below the rear wing. However, new pictures have revealed that these were just stickers, to cover the new technical innovation of their lower exhausts.
Their exhausts are actually at the very undertray of the car, just before the rear suspension. In the second picture, you can just about see it, to the left of the Bridgestone logo and below the painted green (for aerodynamic purposes) suspension rod. Clearly, this will have a balance improvement, with a slightly lower centre of gravity. Also, the amount of disturbed air on the pullrod suspension will be reduced, which is an aerodynamic benefit.
More than that, it would also bring in the idea of an exhaust driven diffuser. As I have already talked about, the RB6 uses a different strategy to enlarge their diffuser, by heightening their gearbox and retaining the pull-rod suspension. With an exhaust driven diffuser, the high speed gases can increase the power of the diffuser. When exhaust driven diffusers were used in the 1990’s, one main complaint was that the increase in downforce in the diffuser was proportional to the throttle position. Now that the double decker diffuser is higher up (slot feeding diffuser on top, hence increased height), the sensitivity of the diffuser is decreased.
I can’t fully prove this theory, as Red Bull will never talk about their innovation. However, if it is what I think it is, this new creation could be nearly as important as the horned nose from Red Bull last year.