hardingfv32 wrote:It would SEEM completely legitimate to have a duct that cools the wheel bearings. This would not be a brake duct. Cooling the wheel bearings would be a valid 'primary' use for such flow. To say aero is the 'primary' use seems like a stretch. Do we have anything to demonstrate how it would be an aero benefit.
We are missing some detail in this story.
This post was back June 9, when the Red Bull wheel bearing holes were discussed. The comment "We are missing some detail in this story." has stuck in my mind for all this time, and I have a theory on another intended use.
We are all aware that all the different tire compounds have different optimum temperatures, and getting tires up to their proper operating temperatures has been a major issue all season. The McLaren solution was to have a system where during pit stops a mechanic could adjust an opening inside the brake ducts to suit the required operating temperatures of the different compounds. But it was complex, it required action during a pit stop and added extra complexity and mass to the car.
But for the Red Bull for that period of time, they attempted to use the size of the wheel spoke openings to regulate temperatures? The center has holes to cool the bearings, but further outward, if you had different sized openings in the spokes, you could tailor (restrict) the airflow to optimize brake temperatures to suit the different tire compounds?
If this was true, it was an elegant and simple solution. No need for a mechanic to adjust anything during a pit stop, no hydraulic lines, you just matched the tire compound to a wheel with specific-sized holes.
Racing should be decided on the track, not the court room.