Red Bull air inlet raises eyebrows in Jerez
6 February 2012 – The new Red Bull RB8 is very much an evolution of its elder sister, the RB7, which crushed its opposition last year. However, one aspect has already attracted a keen amount of interest as the Formula 1 community gathers in Jerez on Monday.
The point in question is an air inlet located on part of the car which was non-existent in 2011 – the level drop down to the nose cone, which has been generated (to various extremes) on all of the new cars as FIA safety regulations call for lower noses.
The exact reason for the inlet – shown in the photo atop this article – has yet to be confirmed. Firstly, an opening of this kind can only ever be either an air inlet or outlet, as opposed to serving a dual purpose. In this case, an inlet is certain.
Some suggest the hole may be for cooling purposes, such as for KERS, with which the team suffered problems last season. Another option could be for aerodynamic reasons, with the inlet possibly sporting an exit which could direct airflow over the cockpit and in the direction of the air box and rear wing; if this is the case, it would help compensate for rear end downforce now that exhaust-blown diffusers are banned.
More will be reported on the Red Bull air inlet in due course.