The latest fruits of his efforts were announced by Red Bull on Tuesday, when plans for the RB17 supercar were unveiled at Milton Keynes’ headquarters in the UK.
The RB17 will be the first fully manufactured car by Red Bull, having previously worked with Aston Martin on the Valkyrie project – and it promises serious success.
The Red Bull RB17 will be manufactured and developed by Red Bull Advanced Technologies, under the supervision of technical director Newey, who said that a track car was the “obvious thing” for the group to pursue.
“If you’re going to make a track car, that’s fine, what do you put as its features? said Newey. “And what we decided was performance in Formula 1, but something that is relatively comfortable, relatively easy to drive, and you can drive at any speed you see fit, up to the performance limit in Formula 1.
The idea of a blank canvas – or blank drawing board, used by Newey who is still famous for all his designs – is something that interests all designers. But the fact is that this rarely happens. Newey got a taste of what it’s like to design an unlimited car in 2010, when he came up with the concept design for the Gran Turismo video game series, Red Bull X2010. It took advantage of the technology of fan cars and was lightweight, 1,400 horsepower with the canopy one seat, which improved the F1 riding record in Suzuka by 20 seconds in a simulated race.
Adrian Newey: “We decided on a performance in Formula 1, but in something that is relatively comfortable, relatively easy to drive.”
Photo: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images
It was not quite the same approach for Newey when it came to designing RB17 for real life. “Of course it has physics rules,” he said. “We need to patch in two people and you have to assume that at least one of them is rather tall. So you have all these constraints, we really need to use existing tires. So we have some restrictions, you need to make sure the car is safe of course.
“But other than that, it’s actually an irregular car with the limit of carrying two people, rather than one man in the 2010 PlayStation car.
The concept of a “no rules” car makes the Red Bull RB17 an exciting option for the automotive industry, giving a taste of F1 technology in a track car. Here’s all we know about it so far.
When will Red Bull RB17 go into production?
Red Bull RB17 is under development at Red Bull Advanced Technologies, but CEO Christian Horner said he expects it to be “in use within 12 months” with a view to starting deliveries in 2024.
How many Red Bull RB17s will be produced?
You have to go fast to get over Red Bull RB17. Only 50 cars are produced at about 15 speeds per year, in addition to prototypes that will be used for development and testing.
The lucky owners of the track car will also enjoy “close cooperation with the Red Bull Racing team with access to simulators, vehicle development and training and experience on the track”, as well as factory support and maintenance tailored to each owner.
Why is it called Red Bull RB17?
Had it not been for the Covid-19 pandemic and the freezing of F1 technology, last year’s Red Bull F1 car would have been called the RB17. But when the cost-cutting transition was implemented between 2020 and 2021, Red Bull chose to call its car RB16B.
To keep pace with its namesake for the number of years it has been in F1, the 2022 car was named RB18, which means – originally – that it was never meant to be RB17.
“Since this car has a true Formula 1 performance, I thought it was right that it belonged to that family and had 17 names,” said Horner.
Which engine will the Red Bull RB17 use?
Red Bull has chosen a twin-turbo V8 engine for the RB17, which aims for a capacity of about 1,100 horsepower. However, a decision remains to be made as to who will produce the circuit.
“We are now considering how we do it,” Newey said. “As you know, we now have our own Red Bull Powertrains, a young company. We can also turn to other professionals. So we are in the process at the moment. “
How fast will the RB17 be compared to a Formula 1 car?
The pressure to get an F1 performance score in RB17 means that the same methodologies and processes will be involved in its development, as well as utilizing whatever technology it can.
Being on the same football field as Formula 1 cars can be judged in many ways, but Newey made it clear that the comparison would be made in lap time, which he said was “ultimately all that matters”.
“Of course it will be circuit-specific,” Newey said. “The big fight is really weight. When you make a car that is big enough to take two people with a roof on it for efficiency and safety for most people, the car will automatically be heavier than a Formula 1 car. It is then doing everything else you need to do to try to achieve this result. “
RB17 is Red Bull’s first supercar project since it worked with Aston Martin at Valkyrie
Photo: Red Bull Content Pool
Will RB17 be legal on the road?
No, it will not. Unlike the Valkyrie, which Red Bull helped design before Aston Martin took over the project, this will not be a road car.
“It’s less central to our DNA at this stage as a company,” Newey explained. “We start much more from what we know and I think if it was a road car and designed as a road car, you would be tied to higher numbers, which is not something we feel comfortable doing at this point in time.”
Yes. As part of Red Bull’s offensive to mobilize all of its F1 insights for RB17, Verstappen and Perez plan to take part in its development, according to Horner.
“Max drove the Valkyrie sometimes, I think he’s a customer of that vehicle too,” said Horner. “Whether they choose to buy one of these cars is up to them, but we will definitely look to use all the skills we have in the testing and development of these vehicles.”
How will RB17 compare to Valkyrie?
According to Newey, the RB17 will have “significantly higher performance” than the Valkyrie, in part due to the lack of restrictions needed to do something legal.
“The Valkyrie was designed as a road car, so of course there are various limitations compared to when you are only chasing performance,” said Newey.
“I think the biggest thing, as we said earlier, is trying to keep the weight down, so there will be a lot of it. Power is almost a relatively easy thing to do nowadays, such is the advancement in mechanical engineering.
“Then it’s just a matter of making sure that aeronautics is the big player that is doing well, and there are a lot of tricks from the past that we will use to achieve that.”
How much will Red Bull RB17 cost?
£ 5 million. Auk vsk. So in fact, £ 6 million. Red Bull is already accepting statements of interest for RB17.
“I have to admit that I’m always embarrassed when you mention the £ 5m goal,” Newey admitted. “The fact is, though, that as Christian well knows, I’ll spend all my income – and a little! The building materials that go into these cars, when you start bringing them to F1 level, are awesome. Then you put in the development and the test, it’s a number that creeps up on you, unfortunately. “
Horner joked: “The only department Adrian does not know where she is on campus is the finance department! It has never been his role to deal with this. “
Red Bull X2010 idea
Photo: Red Bull Content Pool