Under the skin of the Red Bull RB12



The heave unit can be found at the front of the monocoque. Also referred to as the ‘third suspension element’, it connects the left wheel to the right wheel. By doing so, the heave unit controls dive under braking (or more generally the pitch movement depending on the downforce load), as well as the car’s ride height.

The Red Bull’s third suspension element is quite interesting in that it includes a mechanical component called ‘Belleville washers’, which already featured on last year’s RB11. By comparison, Ferrari has a coil spring fulfilling the same purpose, while Mercedes uses a hydraulic-only spring and inerter system.

Only partly visible, the roll damper is placed diagonally on the RB12, albeit in an opposite direction compared to the installation on the 2015-spec Red Bull charger. Underneath are the torsion bars, while the brake fluid reservoirs sit at lower level and in a conventional side-by-side setup (they are placed one behind the other on the Mercedes W07).

The steering rack is even lower, with the tie rods now positioned ahead of the lower wishbone (instead of the upper one). The installation comes from the 2015-spec Mercedes W06.