Red Bull’s Chief Aero Engineer Highlights the Role of the Shark Fin

There’s been a mixed reception to the reintroduction of shark fins into Formula One, but the aesthetic displeasure doesn’t really matter to Red Bull’s Chief Aero Engineer, Dan Fallows is only interested in how the shark fin benefits the airflow around the Red Bull RB13.

Fallows spoke to Mobil 1 The Grid about the overall design of the RB13 and the challenges ahead:

Red Bull are bringing some major upgrades to the RB13 for the upcoming Australian Grand Prix, which should add to the team’s prospects of taking the fight to Mercedes and what looks to be a much improved Ferrari team this season. Daniel Ricciardo, who is looking to add to his tally of victories this season said,

“When Red Bull were dominating [prior to 2014], everyone wanted to see someone else win. For us drivers not being in Mercedes we want to see change. We just need more cars fighting for the win.

If [Hamilton] wins the race against four of us as opposed to just his team-mate that reward is bigger. Ferrari showed good pace in testing, so if they can take a few points as well it opens the championship up.”

– Daniel Ricciardo

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Red Bull Racing gives the fans a thumbs up during previews to the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 23, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 23: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Red Bull Racing gives the fans a thumbs up during previews to the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 23, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Onlookers were left surprised when Red Bull initially launched the RB13, with most drawing the conclusion that the design was very clean when compared to the complex designs of the Mercedes W08 and Ferrari SF70H. Max Verstappen eluded to some huge updates arriving for the opening race of the 2017 season too, the Dutchman added,

“It will look a little bit different. A little bit. But not just in a single aspect – everywhere. That’s what you do if you want to drive the whole car concept forward. But it is still the best looking car on the grid! And in fact you change to suit the demands: of the track, of the conditions – on wind or no wind. So we do have a ‘Melbourne spec’ here, if you want to see it that way.”

– Max Verstappen

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing walk in the Paddock during previews to the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 23, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 23: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing walk in the Paddock during previews to the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 23, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Verstappen hasn’t contested the Australian Grand Prix in a Red Bull yet, he didn’t finish his first race for Toro Rosso in 2015 and managed a 10th place finish last season. He will definitely be hoping to beat his personal best this time, and it will be interesting to see where the Red Bull stacks up against its closest competitors over a single lap in Qualifying and in the longevity of the race.