Home > Red Bull RB8 Renault > Red Bull RB8 analysis –crazy enough to stand in front of the bull ?

Red Bull RB8 analysis –crazy enough to stand in front of the bull ?

   Red Bull easily dominated in 2011 but will the new car  be able to repeat a clear sweep over 2012 titles ?  People in Red Bull insist that 2012 championship will be tighter than 2011 but it is obvious that solid optimism glows all over their faces . That optimism is based on the  hard work they have done to evolve the previous RB7 car into the new RB8 and overcome downforce loss due to EBD (Exhaust  blown diffuser ) ban  .  Actually Red Bull says that RB8 is the fourth evolution 0f RB5 -2009 car .



      Cameras are attached at nose tip creating a distinctive T-Nose shape resembling to hammerhead shark , a familiar nose concept not only for Red Bull but for Williams as well .

      The nose vanes are clearly an update of RB7 late season ones inspired from  Renault R30 -2010 . Their use is to channel air under the chassis . The updated vanes sports a deep cut at their bottoms and because of that have an additional aerodynamic role which is to create turbulence across the vertical axis to reduce drag when turbulent air heats on car body

       The front wing is derived from late 2011 season and without doubt is a jewel on RB8 . It will for sure follow an aggressive development rate . For instance RB7 front wing had at list 15th different revisions over 2011 season , some of which were only tested .


     The RB7 had a highly raised chassis at the front to allow large quantity of air to flow underneath , a concept  retained for RB8 .  New 2012 regulations dictated all teams to develop strange stepped noses for their 2012 contenders  including Red Bull . The only team so far ( HRT and Marussia new cars are not launched yet)  to develop a lower banana shaped nose is  Mc Laren . The striking difference between RB8 nose and other cars is that Red Bull exploited the stepped area placing there  an elegant duct . There are rumors over the duct functioning with the major of which to be :

–          to feed a possible cockpit ventilation with fresh air to cool down the driver (most likely) . Many teams often put  a duct on chassis top just in front of the cockpit for this cause .

–          to direct air inside the chassis to cool KERS components which are located under and behind the driver’s seat . A more efficient way to cool KERS , due to structural reasons , would be through the duct located under the chassis already seen on RB7 .

–          to cool electronics located inside the nose

–          to direct air inside the nose cone  towards the front wing , to stall it favoring higher top speed in an analogous way  Mercedes did last season . This actually is the most unlikely of all , because mechanics had to change air direction to the opposite, something that would create unwanted drag  that would neutralize any benefits from front wing stalling.

–          the duct is a dead end and creates a high pressure zone (air dam)  in front of the opening  which helps to bent airflow over the stepped area more smoothly over the nose with less friction  . However the air canal created on chassis top due to raised sides do not seem to work nice with the air dam hypothesis .

  survival cell

   The external width of the survival cell must be no less than 6 cm per side wider than the cockpit opening when measured normal to the inside of the cockpit aperture. These minimum dimensions must be maintained over a height of at least 350mm. The chassis is raised on top at both sides and thus a channel is created ( U –raised chassis )


       The chassis side wall thickness is not able to contain a hole ,because such an option  would create stiffness issues and probably possible cracking in a crash side test . Most likely the air route is attached on the inside surface of the chassis wall right next to driver’s legs and  crosses the survival cell  to reach the cockpit zone . Adrian Newey also confirmed that the duct is for driver cooling .


A possible route for cockpit cooling


     Floor exhausts allowed  RB7 last season to race with its rear end higher from the ground level and its front closer at the same degree to maximize front wing efficiency   . 2012 Periscope exhausts according to Adrian  Newey ( technical director of Red Bull) will force the RB8 to race with a more neutral ride height leading not only to downforce loss at  the rear of the car but also  to front aerodynamic grip loss .


   The sidepods remain very compact following the pattern of RB7  and the gearbox zone I even tighter packaged . Hot air exits are similar to RB7 , double outlets at gearbox sides and a funnel at the end of the engine cover . The rear wing at its launch version looks very similar to last season .

  1. February 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm

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    • February 13, 2012 at 3:49 am

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      • February 13, 2012 at 2:26 pm

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  2. Kevin Y
    February 15, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Love your blog. Very interesting technical stuff that I find hard to find on mainstream F1 websites.

  3. LotusFan
    February 27, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Any update on real nose duct role yet ?

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    March 20, 2012 at 12:54 am

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  1. April 10, 2012 at 10:59 am

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