Red Bull: RB8 is a 'puzzle'
Vettel and Webber concede that unlocking the performance of RB8 might take time
By Mike Wise in Shanghai. Last Updated: 12/04/12 2:00pm
Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber are convinced that Red Bull will solve the "puzzle" currently posed by their car but concede that unlocking its performance might take time.
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The World Champions have, by their recent standards, made a slow start to the season. After two races, Red Bull stand second to McLaren in the Constructors' Championship while Webber lies fourth in the drivers' standings with Vettel two places further back.
Although the RB8 has proven strong in races, Red Bull have struggled in qualifying with balance a particular problem as they try new exhaust positions in an attempt to claw back downforce following the effective ban on blown diffusers.
"I think that the balance is not 100 per cent right and that's what we're trying to understand 100 per cent at this stage and we are trying to improve. And once I think we put all this puzzle together then we should be in a much better position," the German said on Thursday.
Red Bull have changed the position of the exhausts on the RB8 to point outboard in an attempt to harness the blown diffuser effect as much as possible.
According to Sky Sports F1's Ted Kravitz, Red Bull will revert to the launch specification exhausts on Vettel's car for Friday practice in a bid to increase their speed while Webber will continue to run the new design.
"With minimum testing these days, with the tooling and everything that we have, we have just proven in the last few seasons that we're a pretty slick operation and we're making these decisions not lightly. We want to clarify and check a few things," the Australian said.
"It's probably not about just this weekend, clearly, it's about future events and future developments and (Red Bull designer) Adrian (Newey) is clearly across all of that. So we will have more information as the weekend unfolds...it's going to take time."