Rumors: Industry Report—More Than Meets The Eye With The RB8?

By Doran Dal Pra

February 17, 2012

In the hyper-meticulous world of Formula 1 racing, rules and regulations are adhered to with near fanatical levels of fastidiousness. Any time a manufacturer unveils a new piece of technology or aerodynamic innovation, they face intense scrutiny to make sure they aren't creating an unfair advantage the other cars on the grid. Such is the case with Red Bull Racing's 2012 F1 car, the RB8—specifically, the air inlet on the car's "stepped" nose.
Nearly all the cars in this year's field are utilizing the stepped nose feature as a way to cope with new regulations pertaining to aerodynamics and car height. Adrian Newey, the RB8's designer, placed an air inlet in the face of the stepped nose, a move that is now coming under criticism for potentially serving a deeper purpose than originally thought. According to a report on, Newey claimed that the inlet was there simply to cool down the drivers, but speculation abounds that the feature will actually serve as an aerodynamic feature. There is no definitive word yet on what exactly the air inlet does, but that information will likely be available soon.
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