It might have seemed like a joke when an energy drink company bought the first of two F1 teams in 2004, but eight years and two world titles later, the only ones laughing are those inside the team. For 2012, Red Bull Racing returns as the force to be reckoned with as it aims to make it three in a row, and this is the car in which it aims to get there.
Red Bull hasn't released much in the way of details on how the RB8 differs from the hugely successful RB7 it replaces, but the most obvious change is the stepped nose design that is unfortunately becoming the defining trait of the 2012 grid. The engine is once again furnished by Renault, with KERS and DRS in place to help Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber get to the front of the field... and stay there. Sebastien Buemi joins the team this season as its official test driver, having been jettisoned from Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Follow the jump for a rather bizarre video clip of the RB8's online launch, check out the only two images released thus far in the gallery below, and watch this space for more as the pretenders to Red Bull's throne present their latest machinery.