Newey: Hole in stepped nose for 'driver cooling'

By on Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A close up shot of the hole in the RB8's stepped nose

Red Bull attracted the curiosity of many members of the F1 paddock on Monday when they unveiled their 2012 car, the RB8, which features a 'letterbox' opening in its stepped nose that none of the other cars have.

There has been speculation that this hole is an air intake to aid cooling or boost aerodynamic performance, however this has been denied by Red Bull technical director Adrian Newey.

Newey claims that the opening in the new RB8's stepped nose is merely for driver cooling.

Speaking to Sky Sports News in the Jerez paddock on the first day of testing on Tuesday, Newey said, "It is simply for driver cooling. The regulations have dictated this slight awkward looking step in the nose, so rather than have the driver cooling hole right at the front, we incorporated that right into the step."

However, former F1 driver and MTV3 F1 contributor Mika Salo did not find Newey's explanation plausible.

"The hole is really big compared to what it was before. Surely the cooling air goes somewhere else, such as cooling the KERS system. The driver does not need that much air and this would be the first time in history of F1 where I hear of someone thinking about cooling the driver," said Salo.

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