@kvothe the speedtrap at Spa is rubbish. It has no connection to straightline speed – it’s on the exit of Raidillon. If you followed the onboards you’d see that the Red Bulls just stopped accelerating from there, and other cars continued to accelerate.
It is NOT inconsequential because of DRS, because remember that these speedtrap figures are speedtrap figures with DRS open, and not with DRS closed. Red Bull however have indeed been guilty of always optimising their top speed in DRS-closed trim, rather than in DRS-open trim.
What you might want to consider is the car’s aero map. The Red Bull does generally run more downforce – but that’s because it has efficient downforce. The Red Bull is at its quickest when set up for that higher downforce level, as opposed to other cars, which are quicker at the lower downforce levels.
Here’s a very simple algebraic example, using arbitrary variables (I’m an engineer. Bite me :P)
Let’s say for every X units of drag that McLaren put on, they gain Y units of downforce.
Now we go to the more downforce-efficient Red Bull, which produces more downforce per drag penalty.
So let’s say we take the arbitrary numbers of every X units of drag generating 2Y of downforce (they get twice the downforce for the same drag penalty – note that the real life figure would be nowhere near two times. This is just to illustrate a point).
So in reverse, for every X units of drag McLaren removes, they lose Y downforce. For every X units of drag Red Bull removes, they lose 2Y downforce – and in the end they lose more in the corners than they gain on the straights (relative to the other cars).
It’s not that simple. Yes ultimately and fundamentally it’s a matter of choice, but would you choose rubbish top speed qualifying P6 at Monza, or decent top speed and qualifying P12? Again, arbitrary numbers, but that’s the general idea.
I hope I’m not blabbering…