Will Newey be able to build a trick system into RB8, or, will no EBD scupper Vettel’s pace?
There is absolutely NO DOUBT that Vettel was WDC 2011 *because of the car*.
Of course, he might be a good driver, or even a great driver, that is down to opinion.
But it is beyond doubt, and a fact, that:
– if he was in a HRT, he would not have won
– if he was in a MCLAREN OR A FERRARI, HE WOULD NOT HAVE WON.
If any of the top 3/4 drivers replaced him in the RB8, they would have been WDC.
No matter your opinion if Vettel is great or not, that car was the defining factor.
There are no exhaust-blown diffusers in 2012, and this was one of the biggest reasons why RB7 was fo quick —– and that RB7 had a special engine trick that was undetectable to the FIA, so that in Q3, it always pulled out pace that was never there before or after.
(unless the engine also did the same thing for the first few laps of the race also)
The way that the RB7 clung on to the track through all corners was the thing that gave it the edge.
Was this due to the bib, or the front wing, or the EBD engine system, or a bit of all of them?
No one outside Red Bull knows — but one thing is certain:
– the 2012 regs will mean going back to the drawing board – to an extent – for Adrian Newey.
That doesn’t mean that he cannot produce other trick-systems that are too clever for the FIA to detect (and for other teams to replicate) – but the challenge is there again.
In THEORY, the new regs make aerodynamics less of a factor, because there are less aerodynamic variabls to play with, without a large % of exhaust gases flowing all over the place here and there – they will all have to flow only from one place – the top part of the back of the car, as has been normal in the past.
The only way to know this will be mid-February, where we see if either the cars look reasonably similar on the track, or, if one car or other just looks that bit stickier, as the RB7 CLEARLY did in Feb testing 2011.
One month to go.