Red Bull RB8 seen for first time as Jerez test begins

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The Red Bull RB8 has been seen ‘in the flesh’ for the first time on the first day of testing at Jerez.

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Images © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Renault/LATLotus F1 Team, Williams/LAT, Getty Images/Red Bull, Force India/Sutton, Sauber F1 Team, Caterham, Motioncompany

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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74 comments on “Red Bull RB8 seen for first time as Jerez test begins”

  1. So any guesses what that gap is for? New fduct? Air channelled below the car into the diffuser?

    1. And can other teams copy it or is it now too late?

    2. An F-duct is highly unlikely I think, just because the only area it could possibly lead to is the lower plate of the rear wing.

      And I don’t think that is really viable.

      But, I could be very wrong.

      Maybe it could feed the diffuser somehow?

    3. The intake could simply feed air to the bottom. A channel system towards the diffusor seems to be terribly complicated and
      But taking the air from above the nose and just letting it blow under the chassis from out of a small slit underneath would negate some of the losses you have by having to have a lower nose.

      1. Newey has apparently told Ted Kravitz that the duct is “purely for cooling the drive and other components” although it’s up to you whether to believe that or not.

        1. Who knows how much cooling the underbody of the car actually needs. :P

        2. not likely they thought of the drivers comfort, its all about aeordynamics. Would be nice to see a thread about this so called bull duct.

      2. driver** even

    4. Ted Kravitz on Twitter: “Just spoke to A Newey, post box slot is primarily for cooling: driver and other parts. He denies it gives RB8 any aero benefit. Newey also says might be exhaust controversy if someone races in Oz with a different interpretation and that he wants to stay at Red Bull..”

    5. Channel air to seal the floor down those “tusks” between the front wheels, allowing bigger rake?

  2. I suspect that it splits the air and passes it down channels around the sides of the cockpit directing it out at the lower rear wing beam.

    the air could equally be used to cool kers, or aid the radiators meaning a reduced intake size there. It could also be as simple as taking it in there and discarding it else where as thats better than the turbulance caused by a bump, after all that bump could play havock with the engine air intake above the cockpit in given circumstances.

    1. Sorry… maybe I am crazy.. but what gap are you guys referring to? I have looked at all of the pictures and I can’t spot it…

      1. Where all the car have the drop on the nose, Red Bull have made that into a gap (for some form of air intake/redirection)

    2. Could it be that they’ll be channelling the air from this slot to directly blow the starter motor hole? It’s the only area of the floor that’s allowed to be open & is supposed to provide some downforce

  3. I just noticed this update from Autosport’s live timing of Jerez:

    So halfway through the day, Raikkonen is quickest. Find out more about the man who has given him such a (seemingly) quick car by reading Jonathan Noble’s interview with Lotus technical director James Allison.

    Autosport’s pro-Raikkonen, pro-Lotus slant (it’s already their lead story) not withstanding, this is precisely what I was afraid of. I’ve noticed a massive reaction accross the internet to Raikkonen’s lap time, with some people even going so far as to suggest that the Lotus E20 is to 2012 what the Brawn BGP-001 was to the 2009 grid. There is nothing to suggest that this is the case; Paul di Resta has, at the time of writing, gone from half a second behind to a tenth of a second. Nevertheless, people are willing to proclaim Raikkonen and Lotus a force to be reckoned with based on a single lap on the first day of testing.

    I feel like I say this on the first day of winter testing ever year, but it’s been long established that testing times ultimately mean nothing, and so I think that testing should be a private event. We have no idea what each team is doing relative to one another. Their testing programmes are wildly different, and we can’t account for those differences since we have no access to those programmes. Nevertheless, people are already using the lap times (and the lap times alone) to try and fathom out the running order, but ignoring the differences between the teams and their programmes. For example, when Raikkonen set his lap time, Jenson Button was two and a half seconds adrift – but Button had only done two laps, and the early laps are systems checks. Knowing that Button was not doing flying laps on soft tyres and fuelled light at the time, how can we read anything into Raikkonen’s lap times? If Button was doing something very specific, then we can reasonably say that every driver participating in the test was running his own programme, a programme that was not the same as Raikkonen’s. And yet, people are willing to proclaim Raikkonen’s return as being glorious.

    And so we get to my fears being realised. Raikkonen’s return has been greatly hyped by the media, and if I were a betting man, I’d say that Lotus were aiming to set an early benchmark time to capitalise on the attention they have been receiving. But I think that far too many people are reading far too much into things because they want Raikkonen’s return to be a success. And I think that is dangerous.

    1. thatscienceguy
      7th February 2012, 13:03

      You may be better served complaining on Autosport’s site, not this one. I’m pretty sure the Autosport editors don’t read this site.

    2. I read the Autosport report on morning testing. It’s not so ‘outrageous’ as you wrote. About the massive reactions on the E20 performance – usually people tend to believe what they want to believe (I for myself tend to believe that McLaren will be slow because they don’t have that step in the nose). What’s your problem? It’s not your hopes that will be shattered if Lotus doesn’t prove as competitive as it looks.

      testing times ultimately mean nothing, and so I think that testing should be a private event

      Speak for yourself, maybe others like to watch the tests and try and make some predictions. Anyways a person who has been following F1 for at least 1 year already convinced himself that the times don’t always reflect the true running order.

      Raikkonen’s return has been greatly hyped by the media

      Well, given the fact that he’s a World Champion and during his career he’s been a title contender many times and that he has MANY fans I think it’s a normal thing for his return to be hyped.

      …they want Raikkonen’s return to be a success. And I think that is dangerous.

      You knocked me down with that one :) Really, dangerous for what?

    3. And I think that is dangerous.

      Dangerous??? Only to those who harbor a grudge against the team for kicking their beloved russian out of F1!

    4. @prisoner-monkeys you’re right but I think most of us aren’t so stupid to believe testing times represent the actual running order.
      Raikkonen’s effort might have been done on purpose to achieve the fastest time, as you say, and make people think the situation is better than it is. Lotus have every right to do this, although I don’t think they’d throw away a testing day just to top the session.
      Those who think Kimi will dominate this season (which may well happen – but there isno data to confirm it) basing themselves on a single lap time will be let down when they find that Raikkonen, for how fast he is, and despite what he says, will need to adapt to the new car, and the car also needs to be the best.

    5. @Jason – injecting a note of rational balance is obviously a dangerous thing to do amongst fanatics!
      Whether we agree or not, it’s really good that Keith provides us with this forum to air our beliefs and passions.
      However, I don’t expect that Raikkonnen’s times have any significance either. The interesting part is to see how it all unfolds – and that people still feel so strongly about KR. I hope he feels strongly about us.

    6. @Jason this is a fairly miserable post considering this the day 1 of the season for many fans… yes the times are fairly meaningless but its still nice see who’s reliable, get some pics of the cars during testing etc. It’s like a pre-season friendly match and I’m sure many football fans would be upset if they became private matches.

      If you aren’t interested in the pre-season banter/hype then feel free to not watch or read the news… I would imagine the majority of “F1 Fanatics” ARE interested and DO want to see whats going on.

      Raikkonen will be in the news whatever he does, good or bad, his returned has been built up since the new broke that he’s signed for Lotus and probably since he left F1 2 seasons ago

      I just wish there was a live video feed for us to watch… it would make work so much more interesting!

      1. *return not returned

      2. @mcgregski

        the times are fairly meaningless but its still nice see who’s reliable

        You actually think you can decide who is “reliable” on the basis of the first day of testing? And without knowing the programmes the teams are running?

        1. Not on the basis of one days testing no but from testing as a whole yes. No one would have expected McLaren to make it through Austrailia last year after their abysmal testing performance.

    7. @Jemuz if you disagree with Jason’s post then fine just say that but there’s no need to be offensive about it.

      @Jason I agree. I’m not sure testing should be private as there’s not that much access to information as it is and it isn’t aired anyway. However, every year there is always loads of guess work and teams and/or drivers hyped up just for it to be a let down. Last year if I recall it was Ferrari, Kubica in the Renault and the STR and the year before Sauber (I may have gotten STR and Sauber muddled up mind). It’s pointless taking it that seriously as we have no idea what programmes they’re running and the cars tend to evolve a lot between now and race 1 anyway- look at how Mclaren got themselves out of trouble last year. I don’t like the Kimi hype either.

      However, I love the work Keith does and it’s nice to speculate a little and look at all the great info F1fanatic provides but I’d still urge caution to fans because testing times rarely mean much. Sometimes you can spot a horrendous car like the F60 or the Mclaren of 09 but it’s really difficult to say anything for certain especially after morning one of the first test.

      1. True that the speculation may be groundless Steph, but I don’t see why it’s so troublesome!

        I don’t mind the Kimi hype either. I think he brings a different style to F1, off and on track, so for me he’s a plus. Seems harmless enough and at least it isn’t rehashing old gossip and issues.

        1. True that the speculation may be groundless Steph, but I don’t see why it’s so troublesome!

          It’s not really “troublesome” it’s more tiresome than a few fans will put so much faith in the times, get their hopes up only for it not to deliver.

          1. @Steph – which is exactly what I was talking about when I said I thought it was dangerous.

          2. Where is the problem, where are these fans dangerously placing their faith in Kimmi and Lotus to their great peril and to others.

            There is only a handful of posts before PM’s meltdown and none of them are close to what PM is carping on about.

            PM/Jason had a moment. Move on please. Supposed to be exciting F1 opening of the season.

            I am not a Kimmi fan, a little negative towards him, don’t know much about F1, I just thought he did ok for a comeback.

    8. @prisoner-monkeys Agreed. Even after the 4 days we’ll have little idea about what’s going on, and Autosport does seem to be using Raikkonen for getting more interest from the fans.

      After the 12 days of testing we’ll have a slight idea, and even then it’ll be hard to predict things. And some people are thinking Lotus will be the car to beat this year, after a few hours of testing…

    9. But I think that far too many people are reading far too much into things because they want Raikkonen’s return to be a success. And I think that is dangerous.

      @prisoner-monkeys Could you elaborate on your reasons for thinking that is “dangerous”?

      1. I guess he means dangerous because the times may well not be representative, so believing they might be would get peoples hopes up, and they would then be very dissapointed if Lotus turned out to be slow.

        1. @matt90

          I guess he means dangerous because the times may well not be representative, so believing they might be would get peoples hopes up, and they would then be very dissapointed if Lotus turned out to be slow.

          Precisely. And, to be brutally honest, I have never encountered a group of fans who are as aggressive and militant as Raikkonen’s fans. If Raikkonen and Lotus don’t live up to the “promise” they showed on the first day of testing, Raikkonen’s fans will generally make life miserable for the rest of us.

          1. Seriously mate your last couple of posts are a little craze. You are brining me down. Relax enjoy the season.

          2. Militant? How very correct – if Kimi is not quick enough we will all drive our snowmobiles to Enstone and pelter the factory with empty vodka bottles while wearing gorrilla suits!!!


          3. And I forgot – we’ll be eating ice cream while doing it!!!!!

          4. @Clay

            :D Awesome

            I had a thought, while PM is asserting that Kimi fans are militant, and are willing to perform dangerous acts because of it, do you think he stopped to consider his own safety?


    10. I think PM is just having a little lend of us all. I thought the post was funny. Anyway I hope he is.

      1. Hmmm…I was one of the first ones to respond to Jason’s post, and now mine is gone…what gives????

    11. I really do hope you know his fastest time wasn’t set on the softs. it was on the mediums. we also understand your anti-lotus, anti-raikkonen slant that you have been displaying as well as your over-reaction at every post on f1fanatic.

    12. @prisoner-monkeys

      Autosport’s pro-Raikkonen, pro-Lotus slant (it’s already their lead story

      I think you are a little bit crazy. All the article says is that, following pre-season hype, Raikonnen set the fastest time in the first test.

      This is true is it not?

      We can’t read anything of the first test, but the article does nothing of the sort, it is reporting facts.

      I don’t exactly understand your problem.

      they want Raikkonen’s return to be a success. And I think that is dangerous.

      That’s because they are fans, and almost everyone (including yourself) does it.

    13. PM,

      how is it dangerous? :-)

      still better than predicting how fast the cars will be just by looking at them and the livery, which we have been doing for the past week.

      i think you are much more one sided than the Autosport article which was just reporting what happened.

    14. @prisoner-monkeys It is pretty ridiculous. To be honest, i’ve kept away from anywhere else but F1 Fanatic, knowing the heaps of drivel i’m likely to come across.

      I don’t think anyone at Autosport can seriously consider that Raikkonen already has the season wrapped up but they are in the business of selling magazines and making wild accusations, backing them up, then finding something else to get excited about is largely more profitable than saying ‘welcome to testing, it’s largely dull and meaningless’.

  4. The RB8 looks brighter than last year, more colour?

  5. what do you think the chances are of seeing some flow-vis paint on these beauties monstrosities?

    1. Massa had some.

  6. The cars do look better on track. The Red Bull seems normal despite the extra red on the wings and the Force India is stunning, livery-wise.

    1. I think they all look terrible, bar the McLaren, more or less. As cluttered and aero-dynamic looking as supermarket trollies. And why has Red Bull’s car got a sleeping smiley face on the front yellow patch?! Is that just for Mark Webber?

      Still good the season is on the way, whatever they look like!

      1. I think that smiley face is actually the Infinity Logo.

  7. petebaldwin (@)
    7th February 2012, 14:26

    I saw a bit of footage on Sky Sports News at lunchtime and I think with time, I might just about be able to stomach the step noses… On the nicer looking cars (such as the Force India), they are ok but on the really horrible versions (such as Ferrari, Sauber and Red Bull), it’s going to take longer!

    Why have Ferrari stuck a number on theirs!? It makes it look even worse!


      The number really does make it worse. At least on some of the other liveries like the Red Bull and the Lotus the dark colours hide the step.

  8. @Jason and @prisoner-monkeys are two different people, prisoner, maybe you should just change your nick back because this is raising some confusion I think.
    And poor Jason receiving all the emails that aren’t for him.

  9. I love the Force India livery, its looking really good. The Sauber, on the other hand, looks disgusting! I didn’t take as long as I thought to get used to these odd noses…

  10. After having the initial taste of vomit in my mouth for the last few days because of how bad the new cars look I now admit that they do look pretty cool now on track and seeing the majority of them in the bright sun. The RB8 really stands out, what a beautiful livery.

  11. No pics of the McLaren? Was hoping to see how that looked on track

    1. Yeah, what’s up with that?

    2. There’s some in the day two gallery, haven’t got any from day one:

      Jerez test day two in 100 pictures

  12. Disappointed at the lack of Merc pics. Not one! Would be nice to see what updates they are running.

    1. @cduk_mugello They’re largely just using this opportunity to evaluate tyres I believe. I imagine the journo’s are more interested in the 2012 cars.

  13. I was about to say “gee, that Mercedes looks great without a stepped nose!” before I remembered that it’s last year’s car.

  14. Has anybody else noticed that if you trim the bladed fin from the Williams engine cowling, then the FW34 begins to look like the Ligier JS5, the ugliest Formula 1 car ever to be raced?

    1. O.o Why would they build such a thing??

  15. no schumacher photos, bummer :(

    1. He wasn’t driving in this test.

      I believe he will take over at the next session.

      1. He was driving yesterday, in the afternoon.


    Some bubbles on the side of the engine cover on the ferrari…
    either exhausts or engine heating the car too much… ?

      1. and that one
        it seems they have modified the car on site with the kitchen knife

  17. Despite the step the nose on that Toro Rosso still looks as high as last years.

    Are you allowed to post pics of the McLaren? or didn’t they do much track time?

  18. Surprising not a single pic of Mclaren. I came here deliberately since I was sure I’d find lots of lovely pics of all cars, and although I found everything, didn’t find even one of the Mclaren.

  19. I’m hoping that Mercedes do a good job of the W03. By far the best livery of the past 2 years.

  20. What about photos of Maclaren?

    Authentic Journalism …

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