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Everything you need to know about the Red Bull RB17 "no rules"

The latest fruit of the minds of Milton Keynes came to light on Tuesday, when Red Bull revealed plans to create a new hypercar, the RB17 . It will be the first vehicle produced entirely by the Austrian firm, which has already collaborated with Aston Martin on the Valkyrie project, and it promises spectacular performance.

The RB17 will be developed by Red Bull Advanced Technologies, and will be overseen by famed technical director Adrian Newey , who said a track car was the “no-brainer” for them.

“If you’re going to make a track car, it’s like ‘okay, what do you set as its characteristics?'” explained the Briton. “And what we decided on was to have Formula 1 performance, but make it relatively comfortable and easy to drive, that you can drive at any speed and you feel calm, to its limit as a Formula 1 car.”

The idea of a blank canvas that Newey continues to use for all his designs is something that excites engineers, but the reality is that there is no such thing. The Englishman had the opportunity to make a car without limits in 2010, presenting a concept that made its way into the Gran Turismo videogame saga, the Red Bull X2010, a very light single-seater with 1,400 horsepower that beat the Suzuka record by 20 seconds of a Formula 1 in a simulator.

It wasn’t the same approach for Newey when it came to designing the RB17 for the real world: “Of course you have physical limits, we have to fit two people and we have to assume that at least one of them can be quite tall, so We have to take that into account.”

“The tires too, so you have to know that the car is safe, of course,” said the engineer. “But other than that, it’s a car with no rules other than having to carry two people, instead of one like the 2010 PlayStation car.”

The idea of a ‘ no rules ‘ car makes the Red Bull RB17 exciting for the car industry, proving that it’s possible to bring Formula 1 technology to the road, and here’s everything we know about it.

When will production of the Red Bull RB17 start?

Development of the car is underway thanks to Red Bull Advanced Technologies, but CEO Christian Horner said he expected it to be underway “within 12 months”, with a view to starting deliveries in 2024 .

How many Red Bull RB17s will be produced?

To get an RB17 you will have to hurry, because only 50 vehicles will be created, at a rate of 15 units per year, in addition to the prototypes for development and testing. Those lucky enough to get their hands on one will also enjoy “a close association with the Red Bull Racing team through access to simulators, vehicle program development and on-track training and experiences,” as well as support from the factory and maintenance tailored for each owner.

Why is it called Red Bull RB17?

If it had not been for the COVID-19 pandemic and the freezing of the Formula 1 technical regulations, the Red Bull car from last season would have been called the RB17 , but when the extension was applied to reduce costs between 2020 and 2021, the Austrians decided to name their Grand Circus single-seater the RB16B.

“With this car, which has true Formula 1 performance, we felt good that it had that lineage and that nickname of 17” revealed Horner.

What engine will the Red Bull RB17 use?

The Austrians have opted to mount a twin-turbocharged V8 in the RB17, with an output of close to 1,100bhp, but have not yet decided who will produce the powertrain.

“We’re looking at how to do it,” Newey said. “As you know, we now have our own Red Bull Powertrains, a new company, but we can also use other specialists, so we are in the process at the moment.”

How fast will the Red Bull RB17 be compared to an F1 car?

The drive to create a Formula 1-level car in the RB17 means that the same methods and processes will be applied to its development, as well as taking advantage of as much technology as possible. Achieving performance similar to a top-flight single-seater can be judged in a variety of ways, but Newey made it clear that the comparison will be based on lap time, which he explained is “the only thing that counts in the end”.

“Of course, it will be circuit specific,” he said. “The big battle is with weight, once you make a car big enough to carry two people with a roof for practicality and safety, the car becomes heavier than a Formula 1, so you have to do more to get that performance back.

Will the Red Bull RB17 be approved for the street?

The answer is clear, no, it will not. Unlike the Valkyrie , which Red Bull began designing before Aston Martin took over responsibility for the project, it won’t be a road-going production car.

“It’s less important to our company DNA,” Newey explained. “We’re just starting out and I think if it was a street car and designed as such, you’d be tied to numbers, which is not something we’re comfortable with at the moment.

Will Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez be involved in the development of the Red Bull RB17?

As part of trying to harness all the knowledge of Formula 1, the two Red Bull drivers, Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez, will be involved in its development, according to Christian Horner.

“Max [Verstappen] drove the Valkyrie on occasion, and I think he’s a client of one of them,” he revealed. “Whether they decide to buy one of these vehicles will be up to them, but we will look to use all the skills we have to test and develop it.”

How does the Red Bull RB17 compare to the Aston Martin Valkyrie?

According to Adrian Newey, the RB17 will have “higher performance” than the Valkyrie, thanks in part to the few restrictions that it has by not being road legal.

“The Valkyrie was conceived as a street car, and that comes with, of course, several limitations compared to the performance quest,” said Newey. “I think the biggest thing, as we’ve said, is trying to get the weight down, so there’s going to be a lot to do about that.”

“The power is almost the easiest part nowadays, as engine technology has come a long way,” he continued. “Then you have to make sure that aerodynamics is the other big factor that contributes to good performance, and there are quite a few tricks from the past that we will use to achieve that.”

How much will the Red Bull RB17 cost?

The price of the RB17 will be 5 million pounds sterling (about 5.8 million euros at current exchange rates), although it will go to 6 when taxes are applied (almost 7 million euros).

“I have to admit I always feel a little embarrassed when the five million mark is mentioned,” Newey admitted. “But the reality is, as Christian [Horner] knows, I’ll spend whatever it takes on admission, and then some!”

“The material that these cars are built with, when you start to build them at Formula 1 level, it’s terrifying. Then if you add development and testing, it’s a number that goes up, unfortunately,” he explained.

Horner, for his part, joked, “The only department Adrian [Newey] doesn’t know where he is is finance! He’s never had to deal with it.”

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