February 6, 2012 (f1plus team).- Red Bull Racing has launched –online- the car that carries the hopes to earn a third straight drivers and constructors titles in Formula 1. The team released photos and footage of the new RB8 from Jerez (Spain) on what is the final day before pre-season testing starts in Spain.
As expected, the new model is an evolution of the RB7 that won 12 races last year. Like many others (Ferrari, Sauber, Caterham and Renault), the nose section features a drop from the front of the monocoque to accommodate to new safety regulations. There is no doubt this will be remembered as the ugly-ducklings car season.
However, the most important “absent” element, was the exhaust-blown diffuser which was pioneered by the team and it is now outlawed.
Also, questions arise with the air inlet located on part of the car which was non-existent in 2011. The reasons for the inlet are not clear yet, but according to the regulations, an opening of this kind can only ever be either an air inlet or outlet, as opposed to serving a dual purpose.
Once more, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber will lead the team that now counts with Sebastian Buemi as reserve driver in the lineup.
"Obviously we had a great year and we’ll always look back to 2011 and think how special it was," says double title winner Sebastian Vettel.
"But, to be honest, you don’t start a season with expectations of a similar season. We know how special it was and we really enjoyed that, but we know how hard it is to be that consistent, always there and on the podium in nearly every race.
"So the target is obviously to try and do it again, and try and get everything out of ourselves, so we’ll see how we get on with the new RB8."