Red Bull technical director Adrian Newey admits that changes to the regulations for the 2012 F1 season have left him frustrated, with the new rules for this season 'closing a door' when it comes to gaining an advantage.
The decision to change the exhaust regulations this season will prevent teams from making use of the exhaust gases to improve downforce, which was an innovation pioneered by Red Bull and then copied by others last year.
Speaking after the launch of the new RB8, Newey admitted that the change in regulations relating to the exhaust could hurt Red Bull more than others during the year ahead, with the new rules being frustrating to those trying to design the cars and find a performance advantage.
“[For 2012] we have lost the exhaust technology with the restriction exhaust outlet position that we were able to develop and perhaps be ahead of the pack on in the last couple of years,” he said. “That led to a big rethink over the winter. Whether that will affect us more than other people is difficult to know of course. We designed the RB7, last year's car, around that exhaust position and were probably the only people to do so, so it may be that we've lost more than other people through that. Only time will tell. It will be good to get out to do some testing and to see where we get to.
“Regulation restrictions like the lost exhaust are a bit frustrating in truth, because they are exactly that, they are restrictions, they're not giving new opportunities or revenues particularly, they're just closing a door. Regulation changes I enjoy, regulation restrictions I rather lament.”
As well as being forced into a change at the rear of the car, Newey also admitted that the stepped nose on the RB8 isn't something he would have designed out of choice.
“The restriction nose height, which is a maximum height just in front of the front bulkhead, hasn't really changed the chassis shape very much,” he said. “We've kept more or less the same chassis shape, but had to drop the nose just in front of the front bulkhead, which, in common with many other teams, has led us to a slightly ugly looking nose.
“We've tried to style it as best we can, but it's not a feature you would choose to put in were it not for the regulation.”