Skip to main content

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.
  • 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
Webber seals Monaco Grand Prix triumph Webber seals Monaco Grand Prix triumph
Force India travel to Monaco
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.

Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
Take the fittest driver in Formula One and test him against two of the world's leading triathletes in a high-performance laboratory.
September 5, 2014 -- Updated 1604 GMT (0004 HKT)
Mercedes has the fastest two cars in Formula One this season but there is just one problem -- there can only be one world champion.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
May 1, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.