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

2012 F1 cars

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

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

  1. 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.

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

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

  3. 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.

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

    The new Red Bull,is beutiful

  5. LOL …. +1

  6. I agree, it sprung to my mind that Red Bull seem to a bit cagey of the rear end, I do not recall seeing any shot from directly behind the car. Not necessarily are they cheating but hiding either an innovation or a weakness maybe? I find the positioning of the exhaust exit interesting, quite low down compared to others? Underneath the suspension at a horizontal angle.

  7. jonchuckle (@jonchuckle) said on 6th February 2012, 17:11

    Nice to see Total aren’t just crapping up Lotus’s livery this year, I suppose.

  8. Fixy (@fixy) said on 6th February 2012, 17:33

    Normal-looking Red Bull, if it weren’t for the nose (which at least has an innovative inlet) and the “Total” logos on the wings which add useless red to the car.

  9. mike-e (@mike-e) said on 6th February 2012, 17:43

    Maybe instead of having a passive F-duct or stalling device, he’s using the (probable) slot in the nose to feed air through the car and into the diffuser so in high speed corners its still getting a boost and sticking to the track better. As far as i understand, with Mercedes using the hole in the nose to channel air to stall the front wing, this should still be legal shouldn’t it?

  10. west (@west) said on 6th February 2012, 18:06

    Vettel will name the RB8 ugly betty.

  11. BBT (@bbt) said on 6th February 2012, 18:59

    To anyone that think that slot is used for a front blown wing, how is the air going to travel back on itself over a foot to get to the front wing?

    Its most likely for KERS cooling or to the floor and diffuser for extra rear DF

    • Mads (@mads) said on 6th February 2012, 20:01

      Why shouldn’t it travel backwards?
      A Tuba works with only the force of your lungs, and that blows air forwards and backwards a number of times.
      I don’t think you should underestimate the force of air at over 200mph.

    • Glad you asked! Here is Scarborough’s great analysis of the (alleged) Mercedes blown front wing in 2011. (I link to the update blog, as this links back to the very detailed original post.) I won’t try to summarize all of his analysis. In short, it is unproblematic to blow air from the nose hole (Mercedes, or step nose slot in the case of Red Bull) and direct it out from small holes along the leading edge of the wing. One possible benefit: At high speeds (so called End Of Straight or EOS conditions) the front wing is “blown” and loses downforce, which has the effect of raising the front and means the car can run an overall lower front ride height.

      • Yes, you can easily lead the air forward but if you don’t wan’t the same air pressure at the exit hole you need that hole to point backwards – hence fold the airflow twice. Once at 180° and again at at least 90°. Every fold creates resistance and you need to place these 270° fold within a very confined space. I doubt that’s the case.

      • BBT (@bbt) said on 6th February 2012, 21:34

        Yes I’ve read that piece, but their inlet is at the tip of the nose.

        • True that leading air forward (in a closed environment with the exits pointing leeward) is unproblematic. But you might be right about the challenges of “folding” the air in such a short/confined space. However, given Newey’s obsession with the front wing ride height, I wouldn’t be surprised. If not, KERS cooling is equally useful.

    • Exactly right – there is no way to lead dead air forward unlike the high pressure exhaust air. I don’t think it goes to the diffuser either as it would be forced downward – hence causing a lift on the way.

      Then the final three options are cooling or rear wing but it doesn’t look there is a possible path toward the rear wing that wouldn’t create another lift and the volume of air would be pretty insignificant anyway.

      So cooling it is – unless it’s really cannon hole !!! :-)

  12. Liam McShane (@motor_mad) said on 6th February 2012, 20:31

    I dont know if this has already been mentioned but could somebody enlighten me on what the vent is at the point of the step-up nose meets the bulkhead?

    • Well, when a step-nose like Prost met a bulk-head like Senna there was always a lot of venting going on!

  13. Apex (@apex) said on 6th February 2012, 21:02

    I wonder what Vettel will name this one? I suggest “Ugly Betty” ;)

    2008- “Julie”
    2009- “Kate” and then “Kate’s Dirty Sister”
    2010- “Luscious Liz” and “Randy Mandy”
    2011 – “Kinky Kylie”

  14. McLaren23 said on 6th February 2012, 21:44

    Another broken nose??? What is this?,almost all the cars except McLaren have broken noses this year?

  15. Anti-RBR (@matt2208) said on 6th February 2012, 22:27

    Red Bull Are only in the Sport to get that RedBull logo out there. they aint gunna change there livery. Im sick of seeing the Bulls Everywhere.

  16. rubes said on 7th February 2012, 6:07

    From what i can see of it, and what i’ve read/heard, that slot would run all the way through to the diffuser as a “replacement” for the blown systems they use to run last year.

    With the basic principal of the diffuser being the heated air, it wouldn’t be difficult to run the intake through a valve/tube or area near to the engine, gearbox etc creating some substantial heat and in part giving a hot blown diffuser solution.

    Just IMO

  17. raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 7th February 2012, 7:09

    I’m very interested in that nose. @keithcollantine are there any better, or even real pics around of that nose?

    People are saying it’s a vent/slot/hole but I’m not convinced. I’m wondering actually – could they be potentially playing on hollow point aerodynamics?

  18. MParallel said on 8th February 2012, 14:49

    I must be the only one/one of few people who like the nose. Not per se from a design perspective, but for shear character and something so unusual and weird that it’s nice.

    But please, someone explain to me. Why did teams with the hump chose for such a radial drop to the nose? McLaren just has a lower overal chassis I understand. But with the teams having the high cockpit, low nose, what would prevent any team from using a longer, large(r) radius slope to give a smooth look. I mean, the rules apply to the tip of the nose right, not that the first 50/75cm have to be flat? (McLaren wouldn’t pass regulations then…). Otherwise I couldn’t think of all teams (except McLaren) with all independently designing a more or less identical “hard” drop from cockpit to nose.

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