The Red Bull RB8 represents the seventh car built by the Milton Keynes-based team, which inherits the heavy name of the devastating RB7 World Champion in the 2011 season. The car was presented on February 6, 2012 in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, through the diffusion of a presentation video in place of the classic event in the factory.
The car, designed by Adrian Newey, is powered by the eight-cylinder Renault RS27 engine, and is driven by the 2011 World Champion, Sebastian Vettel, and the Australian Mark Webber.
Like most cars, the RB8 also has the step on the nose of the car, albeit in a less accentuated version than, for example, the solution introduced by Ferrari, by excavating the internal part of the body and lowering it just enough so as not to make clear the difference between the latter and the muzzle.
The suspensions, on the other hand, are push-rod type at the front and pull-rod at the rear, the side bellies are designed even smaller and more compact, thus obtaining an optimal weight distribution, and finally there is the presence of a slot obtained inside the step, which mainly serves as an additional air intake.
The blown down exhausts, one of the main features of the Red Bull RB7 in 2011, was banned by the new regulation in force in 2012. Now in fact, the exhaust terminals come out in the upper part of the hood, towards the rear wing. Nevertheless, Newey exploiting the Coanda effect is able to reproduce, in part, the effect and advantages obtained from the previous blown exhausts.
According to the principle of the Coanda effect, each fluid, moving along a surface causes friction, which tends to make it slow down. However, resistance to fluid movement is only applied to the fluid particles immediately in contact with the surface. The external fluid particles, due to the molecular interactions that tend to keep them together with the internal ones, therefore rotate on them due to the difference in speed, thus making the fluid adhere to the surface itself.
Therefore, a large slit is opened on the bottom that leads the flows of the exhaust manifold towards the center of the diffuser. The idea of exploiting the Coanda effect to bring the gas to the diffuser is also developed by Ferrari and McLaren, however Newey is better than anyone else to exploit this idea.
Furthermore, towards the end of the championship, and exactly starting from the Japanese Grand Prix, Red Bull introduces a system thanks to which when the rear wing flap rises, a long and narrow, allowing the air flow to enter the lower wing to flow into an opening that is made in the center of the profile, and exactly in the area of 150 millimeters exempt from technical regulation. By energizing the flow, this helps to stall the lower wing when the DRS is opened.
The 2012 world championship starts in the classic appointment in Melbourne, on the Albert Park circuit. The first race of the season is won by Jenson Button, aboard a McLaren in excellent shape and able to also obtain the fastest race lap and pole position on Saturday with Lewis Hamilton, while the two Red Bulls finish in fifth and sixth position.
In the second round of the season in Malaysia, the pole position is again conquered by Lewis Hamilton, but during the race the city of Sepang is hit by torrential rain that floods the track. This allows Fernando Alonso to take an unexpected victory, followed by an extraordinary Sergio Perez in second position on Sauber, while Michael Schumacher completes the podium with his Mercedes. Once again, a difficult and disappointing weekend for the Anglo-Austrian team, with Mark Webber in fourth position and Sebastian Vettel in fifth.
In the third round of the season, in Shanghai, the negative trend continues inexorably since Saturday, when Sebastian Vettel, due to some problems on the car, is forced to skip the third practice session, thus starting from tenth position. In the race the McLarens continue the excellent moment of form started in Australia, finishing in second and third position, while the race is won by Nico Rosberg on Mercedes, who brings the victory to the Stuttgart car manufacturer, the tenth for them, after the success in the 1955 Italian Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel, on the other hand, is the author of a solid comeback which culminated in fifth position, while teammate Mark Webber is fourth. In Bahrain, under the desert sun comes the first victory of the season for Red Bull, signed by a solid Sebastian Vettel, followed by the two Lotus-Renault of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean, both extremely effective in using the tires correctly.
In the fifth round of the season, which is staged at Montmeló, in Spain, this time to amaze everyone is Pastor Maldonado's Williams, who wins pole position on Saturday, while in the race the British team is the author of a solid race and a leadership constantly questioned by Fernando Alonso, who finished in second position.
For Red Bull, however, the Catalan weekend represents yet another disappointment, with Sebastian Vettel only sixth, and Mark Webber even out of the points. In the Principality of Monaco, the most glamorous event of the entire calendar, Red Bull is back in the spotlight with Mark Webber, who wins the victory followed by Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso, who, thanks to third place, conquers the leader chip of the drivers' classification.
After the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, the Red Bull RB8 is the subject of some complaints from its rivals due to the aforementioned carvings in the bottom. The Federation intervenes by prohibiting the interpretation of the fund as conceived by Red Bull, and at the subsequent Canadian Grand Prix, the Federation also bans the perforated hub carriers used by the Anglo-Asutria team. In the same weekend, yet another disappointing race for the Milton Keynes team takes place, as Sebastian Vettel is only fourth at the finish.
At Valencia, on the occasion of the European Grand Prix, Adrian Newey responds to the recent limitations by presenting a diffuser scheme that cleverly reproduces the effect of the double blowing, banned at the end of 2009. The weekend in Valencia seems to start under the best auspices for Red Bull, who conquer pole position with Sebastian Vettel. The RB8 also performs well in the race, but Sebastian Vettel is forced to retire due to problems with the alternator, thus delivering the victory to Fernando Alonso, author of one of the most beautiful races of his career, followed by Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher, after that another protagonist, Lewis Hamilton, was involved in an accident with Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado.
In the British Grand Prix, Mark Webber manages to grab the second victory of the season, after reaching and overtaking Alonso after the forty-eighth lap, while Vettel returns to the podium after four races.
With this victory Mark Webber is only thirteen points behind Alonso, which will be followed, however, by very fluctuating performances, making him a weak contender for the title.
In the German Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel comes second behind Alonso, but will be penalized by twenty seconds due to an irregular overtaking performed against Jenson Button: the German driver will thus be relegated to fifth place, losing precious points against the Spanish driver of Ferrari, leader of the championship standings.
In Belgium Jenson Button and McLaren return to victory, while Sebastian Vettel closes in second position. The Grand Prix raced in Spa marks the beginning of the German driver’s comeback, who, thanks to the terrible accident at the start involving Fernando Alonso, recovers valuable points in the standings.
Monza is clearly the worst weekend for the two Red Bull drivers, with Vettel forced to retire once again due to an alternator problem, while Webber retires after being the victim of a spin a few laps from the end. In this way, Sebastian Vettel returns to distance himself in the standings from Fernando Alonso, who closes in third position behind Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez, taking him to thirty-nine points ahead.
After nine races and after having inherited the leadership of Lewis Hamilton, who was forced to retire due to gearbox problems, Vettel returned to victory in the Singapore Grand Prix.
From here on, Sebastian Vettel collects three consecutive victories in Japan, Korea, and India, and taking advantage of Alonso's retirement at Suzuka, who exits at the first corner after a contact with Kimi Räikkönen's Lotus, conquers the leadership of the classification by overtaking the driver Spaniard and takes a good thirteen points ahead.
In the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, after having completed the third time in qualifying, behind Webber, Vettel is relegated to last position due to the lack of sufficient fuel to bring the car back to the pits for FIA checks. In the race Vettel is the author of a splendid comeback, which leads him to even grab the podium, finishing third. The German loses three points on Alonso, who finishes second, while maintaining a ten-point lead.
In the United States Grand Prix, Vettel makes the sixth pole of the season ahead of Hamilton and Webber, while Alonso is only ninth. The race was won by the British driver, followed by the German and the Asturian, who once again made an excellent comeback, while Webber, on the other hand, was forced to retire in a second row in two races.
As for the constructors' championship, thanks to the eighteen points obtained by Vettel in Austin, Red Bull is crowned World Champion for the third time in its history, adding the triumph to the previous titles of 2010 and 2011, with a race to spare.
In the decisive weekend for the assignment of the drivers' championship, at Interlagos, Sebastian Vettel obtained the worst qualifying result of the last six races, corresponding to the fourth time, positioning himself behind Webber, while Alonso is only eighth.
The race starts very badly for Vettel, who comes close to retiring following a violent contact with Bruno Senna, which forces him to have to restart the race from the twenty-second position. The German does not give up, and as in Abu Dhabi he makes a great comeback that brings him to sixth final position, thus guaranteeing the maintenance and conquest of the third consecutive world title with only three points ahead of the Ferrari driver, thus becoming the youngest tri-World Champion in the history of Formula 1. Thanks to this success, Red Bull makes the third consecutive world double.