New flexi saga questions ‘rubber Red Bull’

The seemingly never-ending saga about bendy Formula One cars is back in the media spotlight, and as ever championship leader Red Bull is right in the middle.

Multiple videos depicting the front nose of the world champions’ 2012 RB8 car have emerged in the wake of last weekend’s Abu Dhabi grand prix, showing the extreme tip of the front nose section to be apparently made of some sort of ‘rubbery’ material.

The best videos of the ‘rubber’ Red Bull can be seen at:



“Is this legal?” wondered a report by Italian magazine Autosprint, with Tuttosport adding: “Should it (the nose) not be a rigid part?”

Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport journalist Tobias Gruner, however, thinks the controversy is a “false alarm”, because the front 150mm of the nose extremities are “always made a little softer” for the purposes of the FIA’s mandatory crash tests.

But Gruner also acknowledged that engineers from rival teams are similarly analysing the images, with “at least one team” thought to have already contacted the governing body. As ever, right at the heart of the latest technical controversy is Red Bull’s designer Adrian Newey, who was recently labelled a “genius” by McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton.

“His cars are veritable works of art,” agreed British broadcaster Damon Hill, who in 1996 won the championship at the wheel of a Newey-penned Williams. “I don’t want to go too far, but he is the Michelangelo of Formula One,” he added.


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