Defending Formula One world champions Red Bull racing kicked off the penultimate day of the final pre-season test with a revised version of their RB8 at the Circuit de Catalunya today.
The car features a different take on the exhaust layout featured on the car Red Bull had been testing up till now. The exhaust exits are now shaped like that on Sauber's C31 and the car also sports a new front wing.
In a report published in motorsports website www.autosport.com, former Jordan technical director Gary Anderson suggested that the re-profiled exhausts were an attempt to channel the gases towards the rear of the car.
The tweak is possibly an attempt to channel the exhaust gases towards the diffuser. Exhaust-blown diffusers have been banned from F1 this year and severe restrictions have been placed on engine mapping that is controlled by the cars' electronic control unit.
Until last year, F1 teams would blow exhaust gases directly into the diffuser even while the driver's foot was not on the accelerator. The movement of gases through a diffuser would create an area of low pressure directly underneath it. This causes the high pressure above the car to push it into the track.
Defending world champion has reportedly admitted that the RB8 would not have as great an advantage over its rivals this year as the RB7 had. This is seen as the reason for Red Bull's push to 'upgrade' its car going into the season-opening race at Melbourne.