Red Bull RB10 - rear diffuser 'vortex' generators 04 April 2014
Few ideas in F1 racing are totally new. In the late '70's, in the heyday of ground effect, Lotus fitted small turning vanes to the lowest part of the car's floor to prevent it stalling - where an area of the car cannot flow enough air to keep the airflow attached to the surface behind it - which robs it of downforce from the underfloor. Red Bull have used the same concept on the RB10's diffuser. The small vanes on its underside (red arrow) set up a vortex, or horizontal tornado. In a normal, vertical tornado, the swirl of the air at its upper extreme is fed down to its smallest section where it meets the ground. This smaller section has enough energy to lift cars, houses or anything in its path and throw them out, sometimes miles away. Emulating this, Red Bull's horizontal tornado pulls air through an area that is suffering from potential airflow separation, giving the component that it is working on more consistent downforce.