Technical: Red Bull introduced their first major upgrade package in Hungary

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Reigning world champion team Red Bull Racing drew huge attention as the championship runaway leader introduced their first major upgrade package at the Hungarian Grand Prix. F1Technical’s senior writer Balázs Szabó reports on teams’ developments at the Budapest round of the 2023 F1 season.

Red Bull

The Milton Keynes-based outfit kicked off their championship title defence in dominant fashion at the start of the 2023 F1 season, having won every single race so far this year.

Depending on the scale of an upgrade, new parts need a few weeks to be developed and manufactured. With the Anglo-Austrian team unsure about their own level in the pecking order ahead of the season, they surely had a few developments in the pipeline which they constantly introduced across the opening races of the season.

However, Red Bull refused to introduce a major upgrade package until the Budapest F1 race where they debuted several heavily-revised parts.

The team brought a new sidepod inlet layout, a new engine cover and a subtly revised floor design to the Hungaroring, as well as minor, circuit-specific changes to the brake ducts.

Sidepods have established themselves as a focal point in the current technical era of Formula One as they heavily interact with the floor of the car that generate a great portion of the modern F1 cars. To be precise, sidepods dictate the way how airflow is directed towards the back of the car. Moreover, with the simplification of the front wing’s endplate and the bigger tyres, sidepods also help direct the turbulent wake coming off the front tyres.

Red Bull’s new sidepods feature a broader and shallower inlet which made necessary to update the sidepod panels as well which are now wider to order to utilize the greater inlet pressure. The change of the aspect ratio of the inlet has improved the pressure at the entry to the radiator duct.

The sidepod-related changes necessitated subtle tweaks to the floor edges with the modifications to the upstream surfaces set to extract some more local load.

The team has also made minor circuit-specific changes to the cooling configuration of the car. Th front brake duct exit has been enlarged to cope with the greater brake energy and low average speed of the Hungarian Grand Prix circuit.


Following the introduction of key changes to their SF23 at the Austrian Grand Prix, Ferrari did not introduce any new parts in the following Silverstone race, and has only brought a track-specific tweak to the twisty layout of the Hungaroring.

The modification revolved around a change to the front wing flap that helped the team find the right aero balance on the circuit that required a high downforce configuration.


Mercedes debuted key changes to the bodywork, floor and sidepod inlet of their W14 in Monaco, followed by a front wing update at Silverstone. The Brackley-based outfit has now introduced some minor changes at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The team has now debuted a further tweak to the front wing with the endplates having been revised in order to improve the flow to the rear of the car.

The eight-time team champion team have also made changes to the car’s front suspension, reducing camber to improve flow quality along the chassis side and on to the front of the floor, resulting in increased floor load.

There were also circuit-specific changes to the rear wing which featured a larger wing tip cutout. Mercedes appear to follow a new trend introduced by Alpine and Aston Martin that sees the tip section connect with the endplate through a metal support.


Ahead of a significant upgrade at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, Alpine brought a revised front wing to Budapest. A larger front wing flap complemented the front wing mainplane used in Silverstone for the first time in order to rebalance the higher rear downforce level having been used at the Hungarorigng.

Aston Martin

Aston Martin appears to have dropped down in the pecking order in recent races after starting the season as the second fastest team, and they now look to occupy a place behind Red Bull, Mercedes, McLaren and Ferrari.

The Silverstone-based outfit slightly modified the engine cover area for the hot Budapest F1 round with the change set to increase the volume of cooling flow exited from the bodywork.


At Round 11 of the 2023 F1 season, Haas debuted a revised floor body, designed to improve flow underneath the VF-23.


AlphaTauri brought a number of upgrades to the Silverstone F1 race, and the team debuted the second step of their upgrade package at the Hungaroring. The Italian outfit unveiled a new floor, diffuser, engine cover, rear wing and beam wing.

The updated front wing features tweaks to the central section with the team expecting a more efficient generation of downforce. The modifications to the outboard flap should create a more favourable interaction between the front wing and front wheel wake losses, improving onset flow quality to the rest of the car.

The nose has also gone through small changes to improve local load.

The central section of the floor has also been made wider to generate increased load through local surface curvature changes. The tweaks should accelerate the local flow and generate lower pressure under the floor as a result.

Furthermore, the rear wing tip has also been adjusted to give an efficient increase in loading of the wing elements.

Williams, Alfa Romeo and McLaren have not submitted any changes to their car at the Hungaroring.