According to a report by German publication Auto Motor und Sport, Red Bull are rumoured to have found a way to lower their RB18 car on the straight using an old trick to boost their top speed. 

It is thought that Red Bull are able to lower their chassis on the second part of the straight, which is where the RB18 is the class of the field in terms of top speed. 

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While Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton spent 18 laps stuck behind Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin at last weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix, Max Verstappen was able to get past the four-time world champion in one.  

Verstappen was the fastest driver at all four top-speed measuring points at the Marina Bay Street Circuit by a significant margin. 

Four-time world champion Vettel hinted at a suspension trick when he noted how difficult it is to defend against the Red Bull. 

"You can't defend yourself against the Red Bull. He drops the rear and flies past you,” Vettel said. 

Despite the rumoured collapsible rear suspension, Red Bull can run their car at a higher rear rake angle compared to their rivals. 

Red Bull’s straightline speed has also drawn attention from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who said: “This has nothing to do with aerodynamics. There is something mechanical behind it.”

Mercedes enjoyed a similar top speed edge over the field towards the end of the 2021 season, leading Red Bull to suspect their rival had been running a flexible rear wing. 

While the clever suspension trick is nothing new, it is harder to implement with conventional dampers and springs now that hydraulic suspensions are banned in F1. 

It also adds weight to the car, which might offer some explanation behind one of the areas Red Bull have struggled with in 2022, particularly at the start of the campaign. 

Verstappen recently highlighted Red Bull’s battle to shed weight from their RB18 challenger. 

"The car was very overweight,” he explained at Monza. 

“It was just the wrong place of the car as well as overweight, so that's why it was just understeering a lot more and prone to front locking.”

A Mercedes engineer told AMuS that “the Red Bull has the highest ground clearance at the rear when stationary and the lowest at high-speed.

“Making something like this with a conventional chassis costs space and weight. We didn't have one thing, nor could we afford the other.”