Red Bull Qualifying Speed Secret Revealed?

Earlier this week, Red Bull Racing's manager Christian Horner insisted that the exhaust configuration used on the RB6 is not that important as the other teams might think. Soon after figuring out that such a low exhaust configuration increases the downforce level of an F1 car, the other teams started developing this part intensively through the past few months.

According to some recent reports from Autosprint's website, it seems that Horner knows what he's talking about. Indeed, the big speed advantage experienced by the two RB6s in qualifying are not related particularly to their blown diffuser, but to a device that maintains a constant exhaust gas pressure.

To be more precise, we're talking about a special electronic setting developed for the Renault engine that ensures a constant stream of gases flow from the exhaust through the double diffuser, when selected. This way, even if the driver is not pressing the throttle, the gas flow continues to travel though the diffuser with the same pressure.

What that means is that the level of downforce is maximized even at low speeds, something that is very difficult to achieve at an F1 car. It seems the first man to actually discover Red Bull's secret was British journalist James Allen.

However, the reason why Red Bull's RB6 is not as quick in the race as it is in qualifying is that this setting can produce some intense damage to the engine if used constantly. Consequently, both Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel select it only in the last part of qualifying, Q3, where the Austrian team has so far suffered a single defeat in 9 races (Lewis Hamilton's pole position in Canada).
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