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Defence of the realm - the Red Bull RB8 revealed 06 Feb 2012

The Red Bull RB8 Race winner Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing (Right) celebrates on the podium with second placed team mate Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, 27 November 2011 The Red Bull RB8 Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal with Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, 27 November 2011 A champagne-soaked Adrian Newey clutches his trophy after the podium ceremony

The car with which reigning world champions Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull will defend their titles was revealed to the world on Monday. The Adrian Newey-designed RB8 is the eighth Formula One car produced by the team.

Its predecessor, the RB7, dominated the 2011 season, winning 12 Grands Prix in the hands of Vettel and team mate Mark Webber, and powering the Milton Keynes-based squad to their second championship double in as many years.

“I think Formula One is set for an exciting year and at Red Bull Racing our goals and objectives are to try and stay ahead of our rivals and build on the success that we have (had) and build on the lessons that we’ve learned in 2011,” said team principal Christian Horner.

Red Bull’s recent success owed a lot to their perfection of the exhaust-blown diffuser. With that technology effectively banned for 2012 thanks to new, tighter restrictions on exhaust positioning, Newey admits it could mean the team losing out relative to rivals this season.

“That led to a big rethink over the winter,” he said. “Whether that will affect us more than other people is difficult to know of course. We designed the RB7, last year’s car, around that exhaust position and were probably the only people to do so, so it may be that we’ve lost more than other people through that. Only time will tell.

“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 other obvious visual change on the RB8 is the stepped nose already seen on other 2012 cars, designed to meet new requirements on chassis height. Unlike those other cars, the Red Bull features some kind of vent in the step, though Newey was giving nothing away about its function.

“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,” he said. “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.”

"This year’s car build has gone fantastically well, and I think it’s the epitome of continuity, continuity across all areas," added Horner. "I think we’ve designed and built this car in a record amount of time, in a ridiculously short amount of time. Adrian’s never famous for his drawings being early, but the design team, the production teams, all the associated departments that go into producing these cars, have delivered, and delivered in a fantastic way."

The RB8 begins its pre-season testing programme at Jerez in Spain on Tuesday, with Webber at the wheel for the session’s opening two days and Vettel for the final two days.

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