Red Bull RB8 launch – first pictures and video of Red Bull’s 2012 F1 car

2012 F1 cars

The Red Bull RB8, the car the team aim to defend their championship titles with, was revealed today in Jerez.

Its predecessors the RB7 and RB6 won two constructors’ championships and took Sebastian Vettel to a pair of drivers’ titles. Red Bull will be hoping the RB8 can make it three in a row.

There is little change at the team which has been the dominant force in F1 for the last two-and-a-half years. Vettel and Mark Webber form the driving line-up, and Adrian Newey remains at the head of the technical team.

Red Bull RB8 pictures

Red Bull RB8 launch video

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205 comments on Red Bull RB8 launch – first pictures and video of Red Bull’s 2012 F1 car

  1. Launch Control (@launch-control) said on 6th February 2012, 13:50

    I would have thought red bull could afford some better lighting, not really a reveal more of an advert for the sponsors, no doubt they’ll be out with the blanket again this week in testing, hopefully they will use it to cover the front this year ha ha ha

  2. Pan151 said on 6th February 2012, 13:52

    If anything, that has an even uglier nose than Ferrari… looks like the hood of one of those American muscle cars…

  3. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 6th February 2012, 13:57

    Added a new video with lots more footage of the car.

    • UKFan (@) said on 6th February 2012, 18:32

      unfortunately it seems that there aint no footage from the waist down, are they trying to hide the exhaust (I couldnt see it) and the difuser which could have been shielded like in the Mclaren?

  4. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 6th February 2012, 13:59

    Does this even count as a launch?! You can barely see the car. They should have just as well have rolled out the RB7…

  5. hmmm, so its IS your typical hook nose..oh marko

    • It’s not your typical hook nose if it’s an *openning*. And it raises the very interesting question what Adrian is doing with that air. Check out @ScarbsF1 on twitter.

    • Jabbah said on 6th February 2012, 15:09

      Good find. As you can see from the first pic – there is no air intake under the stepped nose.

      • I don’t think it shows at all clearly that it’s not an air intake. For one, if it isn’t an intake, it’s just a dead-end indentation — and even I know enough aerodynamics to tell you that’s not going to make the car faster.

      • McGregski (@mcgregski) said on 6th February 2012, 15:29

        “The Red Bull RB8 has a large nose mounted duct. It is thought to feed air from the hump on the front of the chassis forward through the nose structure and down to the front wing. It is thought that this approach increases front downforce but little is known currently known about it.”

        It is an intake – see pics at

        • Jabbah said on 6th February 2012, 15:38

          Non of which are as clear as the first photo in the link posted by jobson. Also this is T3 which is far from official. In the first photo from jobson’s link there is no slot. You can see the shadow from the antenna go over the blue surface beyond the white border. If they replace it later with a slot then fine but this picture clearly shows there is no slot.

          • Jabbah said on 6th February 2012, 15:41

            Unless its a very slim slot that the angle of photo hides, in which case oops…

          • I still think you guys are smoking the curtains. Is Racecar Engineering a more reliable source for you?
            Red Bull’s RB8 immediately caught the eye in the paddock with a large nose mounted duct. It is though to feed air from the hump on the front of the chassis forward through the nose structure and down to the front wing – similar to a system used on the Mercedes W02 in 2011. It is thought that this approach increases front downforce but little is known about it. Sauber is also thought to have a similar design for its new C31, openly admitting that they have ‘a lot of developments in this area’.
            The layout is legal as it is not driver operated so does not constitute a moveable aerodynamic device.

          • Jabbah said on 6th February 2012, 16:27

            Ok, so I’ll just say that the actual slot is not visible in the pictures. Everyone seemed to be making out that it was a massive duct. It needs to be a very slim slot hidden under the lip of the upper surface though.

        • UKFan (@) said on 6th February 2012, 18:36

          Supposedly Mclaren also has one inside the sidepods and so must all front runners have but this duct on the hump looks very smart.

  6. topdowntoedown (@topdowntoedown) said on 6th February 2012, 14:22

    Newey likes classic cars, doesn’t he. Perhaps he’s been looking at the old Alfa GT Coupe…

  7. Derek said on 6th February 2012, 14:29

    I think it’s for cooling the KERS Batteries, Ferrari have double venting on the engine cover. KERS overy heating was a major problem for RBR last season and cost them race wins.

  8. Jon E said on 6th February 2012, 14:30

    better video @

  9. smudgersmith1 (@smudgersmith1) said on 6th February 2012, 14:49

    Is there sound to the video or is my old lap top dying ??

  10. UKFan (@) said on 6th February 2012, 14:51

    No one noticed that Red Bull isnt showing their exhaust or even anything at the rear of the car, in the video we see Newey and Horner looking at the rear but we cant see it, they shown us the new strange winglets and the slot at the bump and for sure radiators with secret chambers but we cant see the exhaust or the rear of the car. Last season Red Bull had a proper launch showing the car to the public and media but this year they only showed what they are confortable with which could possibly mean that the car has extreme concepts which will be target of protest by other teams, cheeky red bull no real innovations just textbook cheating.

    • Um, how do get from “showing us what they’re comfortable with” to “textbook cheating”?
      First, try thinking all the way back to last week, when McLaren launched a car with something like a piece of plywood in lieu of a diffuser and Whitmarsh himself called “plastic” parts where the exhaust should be.
      Second, here are some better photos, illustrating among other things the right exhaust and heat shield.

  11. Israel Rios (@israelrios) said on 6th February 2012, 14:54

    The step and air income in the nose remembers me of predator

  12. Ben (@dirtyscarab) said on 6th February 2012, 14:56

    In terms of the ‘stepped nose’ cars I think the RB8 is the best looking one so far (Closely followed by the Force India).

    As a Mclaren fan though I’m slightly worried that they’re the only ones (so far) that didn’t follow that philosophy. I assume it’s because they don’t want to travel too far away from what was a successful car last year and risk doing something to upset that.

    I just hope they get enough air-flow under the car.

    • Derek said on 6th February 2012, 15:44

      I am also a Mclaren fan, and share your concern. They seem to be the only team with a conventional nose section. As this will be a major deviation from the original concept to change to a step nose if their one proves to be the wrong direction. It could blow their season again like 09. I hope they have done their homework and their concept proves to be the best way, and it will be the other teams that have to catch up. But surely all the others including Newey cannot be wrong???

      • McLaren is simply following last year’s design philosophy. They don’t have a stepped nose because the front of the bulkhead is already lower than the 55cm maximum height for the nose. See Scarborough’s typically excellent analysis at
        “This creates less space under the raised nose, but the teams snow plough device under the nose works aggressively as a turning vane, so perhaps the team don’t need the higher chassis to get the correct airflow to the sidepods leading edge. McLaren also find the lower nose provides the classic vehicle dynamics benefits of a low CofG and a less extreme front suspension geometry. This trade off works for McLaren and goes to prove not everything in F1 has to be a compromise in search of aero advantage.”

    • VoiseyS (@voisey) said on 6th February 2012, 16:33

      McLarens design appears to be more ‘evolution’ rather than ‘revolution’ which seems sensible to me. The idea of Red Bull blowing air down to the front wing from that intake seems strange; the intake is behind the front wing isn’t it, so that would mean the air coming through the nose vent would crash into the air being moved over the front wing..??

      McLarens front wing looks like a 5-year old designed it; can’t believe that is the version they will be using during testing

    • Snafu (@snafu) said on 6th February 2012, 18:44

      this is exactly what i was thinking when i saw RBR with an step nose!

      and as for front wing, according to Mclaren what was fitted on MP4-27 is last year’s wing…the new one will be fitted on testing (or maybe even Australia?)…it’s true about rear wing as well.

  13. Paolo (@paoloco02) said on 6th February 2012, 14:59

    The new Red Bull,is beutiful

  14. LOL …. +1

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