Red Bull today launched the car they believe may give them a third consecutive Formula 1 world championship.
The RB8, the sixth Red Bull Racing machine designed by Adrian Newey, contains the now common step-nose.
Curiously, the RB8 contains what appear to be two air holes on the slope of the step-nose; something that we will no doubt hear more about before Melbourne.
The hot blowing exhausts – one of a number of keys to Red Bull’s success in the past two seasons – have been outlawed, prompting Newey to incorporate a complete redesign of the area.
Unlike other entrants last season, Newey’s RB7 machine had been designed around the exhaust blowing concept, whereas other team’s were forced to incorporate the technology, with varying results.
It is an issue that has clearly left the famed designer frustrated, due to the FIA’s narrowing of the regulation field.
Red Bull continue their engine supply partnership with French giant, Renault. Although the unit is thought to be rather down on power compared to its rivals, the RS27 has pulled back some of that deficit in the past year.
Joining world champion Sebastian Vettel and teammate Mark Webber at Red Bull this season will be former-Toro Rosso racer Sebastien Buemi.
Both Buemi and then Toro Rosso partner Jaime Alguersuari were dropped last month, as Red Bull promoted junior pilots Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne to the sister team.
With rumours of Mark Webber’s retirement pending, the fight for the Australian’s seat may become fierce.