Red Bull have revealed ambitions to build a new wind tunnel, despite such facilities looking set to be outlawed in F1 from 2030 onwards.
It is understood that a new wind tunnel would be situated on-site at Red Bull’s headquarters in Milton Keynes, in contrast to the team’s current wind tunnel facility, which is located in Bedford, a 30-minute drive away.
“We are in the phase where the plan still has to be approved,” Red Bull special advisor Helmut Marko was quoted as saying by Auto Motor und Sport.
Should Red Bull press ahead with plans, they would echo the actions of Aston Martin and McLaren, both of whom are investing in wind tunnels and other associated infrastructure – including, in Aston Martin’s case, a new factory.
Newey keen for move to CFD
According to Red Bull’s Technical Director, Adrian Newey, travel and logistics aren’t the only problem with the team’s current wind tunnel facility.
“It just takes too long for us to get the desired wind speed, and that takes away considerably relevant wind tunnel time that we are actually entitled to,” Newey told Auto Motor und Sport, adding that, if he had his way, Red Bull wouldn’t have to build another wind tunnel at all.
“I would limit everything fully to computational fluid dynamics,” Newey said, referring to a field of advanced mathematics and computer simulation used to model how the laws of physics will affect a car’s performance.
Newey’s desire to abolish wind tunnel usage entirely in favour of CFD would appear to have the tentative support of a majority of F1 team bosses, eight out of 10 of whom backed such a proposal at an F1 Commission meeting in late 2020.
In a bid to increase the sport’s sustainability, F1 itself is also thought to be behind a move to outlaw wind tunnels by 2030, with the vast amounts of energy they use producing electricity bills of over £1 million a year.