Red Bull had run the low-drag specification of rear wing it had trialled at Baku in a bid to capture more straightline performance from its RB16B at Spa-Francorchamps and overturn any disadvantage it runs with its high-rake philosophy.
The slotted endplate was hence removed for Belgium, and the upper wing flap featured its turned-down outer edges to limit the overall drag while keeping the centre of the wing producing the downforce required for the corners.
Verstappen’s wing ran with a Gurney flap attached to the top element to introduce more downforce, while Perez went without to go after more top speed.
However, it all proved moot after Perez dropped his car on the exit of Les Combes on the reconnaissance lap to the grid. He was only able to return to the back of the field as the race start delay was so lengthy, giving time for Red Bull to fix up his car and officially start from the pitlane.
Photo by: Giorgio Piola
Red Bull bolted on a higher-downforce wing specification for the start of the race, in anticipation of any let-up in the conditions.
Aston Martin continued its development progress with a new front wing for Belgium, as the team has effectively overhauled its entire AMR21 across the season in response to a miserable early part of the year.
The upper wing flap features a more angular trailing edge, in a bid to improve the direction of airflow of the wing and its effect on the rest of the car downstream.
It also seems to trim off a little overall drag to make the most of the Spa characteristics that reward higher acceleration.
Photo by: Giorgio Piola
However, team principal Otmar Szafnauer still points to Aston’s deficits falling within the changes in floor regulations, and that the decreased ride-height at the rear of the car has been largely responsible for the drop in performance relative to last year’s Racing Point car.
“I think the team have done a wonderful job,” Szafnauer said. “They’ve worked tirelessly to try and get some of that downforce loss back, but unfortunately we’re a bit restricted with what we can do due to regulations.
“We’ve clawed back some of the relative performance that we had, not all of it, but we can’t claw all of it back for two reasons: one, we’re restricted on how much time we can actually spend on this year’s car, because it comes at the expense of next year’s car, and two, our hands are tied when it comes to lifting the rear ride height.”