Red Bull raised eyebrows throughout the F1 world on Monday by showing some glimpses of its 2012 car. Although detailed images are not yet available, the ‘stepped nose’ on the RB8 features a mysterious air intake.
“Why?” wondered Germany’s Bild newspaper.
Spain’s Marca said the intake is “surprising and unprecedented” among the growing field of 2012.
“Perhaps the intention is to cool the KERS batteries,” wondered Italy’s Autosprint.
Finnish broadcaster MTV3 cited the information of Caterham’s technical boss Mike Gascoyne in speculating that the purpose of the intake is cooling.
“The first thing that came to my mind,” wrote O Estado de S.Paulo correspondent Livio Oricchio, “is that the air will flow to the diffuser.
“We will soon find out,” he added.
“In any event, however effective Adrian Newey’s unique solution, it will not be as decisive as the blowing diffusers of last year.”
The RB8’s world champion driver Sebastian Vettel agrees.
“The car is based on last year’s car,” he is quoted by international publications. “The changes are small and subtle.”
Like Newey, the German laments the FIA’s rules clampdowns.
“Before, there were many opportunities to invent something new, while now it will be harder to make a real difference.
“I think the gaps will be smaller than they were in the past,” said Vettel.