Red Bull Racing’s 2012 Formula One car, the RB8 – which will contest this year’s Formula One campaign and defend the Team’s two successive World Championship titles – has been unveiled.
The team are hoping to defend both the drivers and constructors championship this season however Team Principal Christian Horner believes they face stiff opposition.
“I think on the grid this year we’re going to have six world champions, and McLaren have a strong team, they’ve got strength and depth and two world class drivers,” Horner explained.
“Fernando Alonso: everyone knows his capability, and Ferrari also being a great team. We have Kimi Raikkonen coming back as well; Mercedes also look like they’re going to be competitive, so I think Formula One is set for an exciting year.”
With a large number of races to compete at, Horner also believes that the 2012 season will be a challenge for the team however he is confident that the team will perform well throughout.
“Twenty races is a tough season,” Horner commented. “It’s a long year. It’s going to be a challenge there are a lot of back-to-back races. To start in March and finish in Novemberâ€¦ but I think with good planning and good preparation it should be manageable.
“I think it’s going to be an exciting season. Of course there will phases of strength for different teams (and) the most important thing is to be consistent over the full season. So, we will be determined to start strongly in Melbourne and finish strongly in Brazil.
Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey has admitted that the regulation changes can be frustrating at times.
“Regulation restrictions like the lost exhaust are a bit frustrating in truth, because they are exactly that, they are restrictions, they’re not giving new opportunities or revenues particularly, they’re just closing a door,” Newey explained. “Regulation changes I enjoy, regulation restrictions I rather lament.”
Newey also explained how the team coped with removed the exhaust blown diffuser and the nose height changes.
“RB7 was designed around the exhaust, this year knowing that the exhaust position from last year would be taken away, we’ve had to go back and look at how we developed the car through the last one and two years with the side exit exhaust and try and, if you like, make sure that the routes we had taken that were only suitable for that exhaust position we now had to re-evaluate,” he commented.
“Probably one of the key things there is the rear ride height. The exhaust allowed us to run a high rear ride height, it’s much more difficult without that to sustain a high rear height so we have to go back down and have to redevelop the car around that lower ride height.
“The restriction nose height which is a maximum height just in front of the front bulkhead hasn’t really changed the chassis shape very much. We’ve kept more or less the same chassis shape, but had to drop the nose just in front of the front bulkhead, which, in common with many other teams, has led us to I think I’d probably say a slightly ugly looking nose.
“We’ve tried to style it as best we can, but it’s not a feature you would choose to put in were it not for the regulation. ”