F1 flexi saga: 'Rubber Red Bull'

2012-11-08 11:52

Formula 1's flexi saga continues as Red Bull came under the media spotlight for its "bendy" F1 cars.

Multiple videos and images have emerged from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix showing the nose the 2012 RB8 car apparently made of some sort of "rubbery" material.


Autosprint wrote: "Is this legal? Should it (the nose) not be a rigid part?"

Auto Motor und Sport
journalist Tobias Gruner, thinks the controversy is a "false alarm", because the front 150mm of the nose  are "always made a little softer" for the purposes of the FIA's mandatory crash tests.

Gruner said that engineers from rival teams are similarly analysing the images, with "at least one team" thought to have already contacted the governing body.

At the heart of the latest technical controversy is Red Bull's designer Adrian Newey, who was recently labelled a "genius" by McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton.

Former champion Damon Hill said: "His cars are veritable works of art. I don't want to go too far, but he is the Michelangelo of formula one."

Video 1
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Video 2 - Show's Mark Webber's RB8 car nose "wobbling"
Video 3 - Shows Red Bull pit crews adjusting the nose


  • mark.singh.9889 - 2012-11-08 13:41

    FIA looking for an excuse to hand the drivers title to Alonso

  • neilmurray13 - 2012-11-08 13:43

    What advantage could a rubbery nose give? Can anyone shed some light?

      adriaan.olivier.589 - 2012-11-08 14:11

      Not really sure, but it has been an issue earlier too, THINK it has got something to do with better downforce in corners or something, because it just flexes in certain situations under certain conditions

      corne.hubinger - 2012-11-08 14:20

      I think it would affect the operation of the wing angle at high speeds. The wing would offer more down force, which means better handling and grip at high speed because the angle of the front wing would increase with speed.

      alan.jerrold - 2012-11-08 16:15

      Not 100% sure, but basically you need less wing angle on the straight to reduce drag, and more in the corners to improve tyre grip. How Newey has possibly managed to accomplish that with a bendy wing is unclear, but the man is a genius. Maybe the front wing 'straightens out' with the rush of air at 300+ km/h, but still affords downforce in corners?

      Blixum - 2012-11-21 13:41

      Blow it.

  • adriaan.olivier.589 - 2012-11-08 14:17

    I wish the FIA will stop trying to force everyone in F1 into a box where they can't be creative. Newey is a mastermind and responsible for many technological advances pushing the boundaries of innovation in the sport, but every time he comes up with something new the FIA/other teams want it banned. Let everyone just come up with weird an wacky inventions as they see fit and have a fastest-car-wins sprint to the finish even if that means one team can put a 2 seconds a lap on the field, they must adapt or stay behind.

  • warren.mudge.5 - 2012-11-08 14:53

    Quite amazing is it not. Somehow I believe that all those who were criticizing and crying foul of Ferrari and Schumi back then when their superior technology dominated F1, are the self same hypocrites that are defending Red Bull's technology advancements today and vice versa. If it is legal it is legal, finish and klaar. All teams are obliged to be open for scrutiny by any other team or the FIA if irregularities are suspected.

  • richard.sloman.5 - 2012-11-08 16:57

    "with "at least one team" thought to have already contacted the governing body." I wonder which team that would be, maybe red in colour...

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