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Red Bull's RB8 causes a stir

May 28, 2012 -- Updated 1345 GMT (2145 HKT)
The slot in front of the RB8's rear wheel has been cleared by the FIA's scrutineers.
The slot in front of the RB8's rear wheel has been cleared by the FIA's scrutineers.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The design of Red Bull's RB8 car has been questioned by other teams
  • The RB8 has a slot in front of the rear while which increases downforce
  • Ferrari and Sauber also have design modifications aimed at tackling the problem
  • Formula One's official website confirms no rival teams have reported Red Bull

(CNN) -- Formula One is a sport where tiny margins can be the difference between success and failure, so it is no surprise a small hole in Red Bull's Monaco Grand Prix winning car has got rival teams reexamining the sport's regulations.

Mark Webber clinched the Austrian-owned manufacturer's third consecutive win in the principality on Sunday, but questions have been asked about the legality of Red Bull's RB8 car.

The debate centers around the floor of the car, specifically the area in front of the rear wheel. The FIA, the body which regulates the sport, states the floor of an F1 car must be impervious, a rule many teams presumed meant it must be free of holes.

The official rule is as follows: "All parts lying on the reference and step planes, in addition to the transition between the two planes, must produce uniform, solid, hard, continuous, rigid (no degree of freedom in relation to the body/chassis unit), impervious surfaces under all circumstances."

Mark Webber receives the winning trophy from Prince Albert II of Monaco after his superb victory from pole. Mark Webber receives the winning trophy from Prince Albert II of Monaco after his superb victory from pole.
Royal congratulations
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Red Bull have been running the design since Bahrain with the blessing of the FIA scrutineers
Formula One website

Webber wins Monaco Grand Prix

But the RB8's design, which has been cleared by FIA scrutineers and has been running since April's Bahrain Grand Prix, features a rectangular slot in front of the rear wheel of the car.

"In Monaco there was much discussion about the legality of the Red Bull's floor, with speculation that rival teams were considering lodging post-race protests (none ultimately did)," read a statement on the sport's official website.

"Despite the fact that Red Bull have been running the design since Bahrain with the blessing of the FIA scrutineers."

The slot increases downforce at the rear of the vehicle by offsetting the negative impact the rear wheel has on airflow over the car.

Latest F1 standings after Monaco GP

And the Red Bull is not the only car to feature a modification aimed at tackling this problem.

Both the Ferrari and Sauber cars feature slots in front of the rear wheel. But on both designs the slot it is placed at the edge of the body, rather than being an isolated hole in the floor.

The design tweaks have clearly paid dividends. Red Bull currently lead the constructors' championship, with its drivers Sebastian Vettel and Webber second and third respectively in the drivers' standings, while Ferrari's two-time world champion Fernando Alonso is top.

With no team launching an official protest, the RB8, complete with slot, can be expected on the grid for the Canadian Grand Prix on June 10.

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