Today was the championship team's day to take the spotlight. The Infiniti Red Bull Renault team introduced their new Formula One contender by pulling off the covers of the RB9. At their home base in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, three time world champion Sebastien Vettel and Mark Webber had the honors of revealing the new car which will be on track in Jerez, Spain for the first preseason tests this week.
The new added purple shade is very noticeable on the sidepods, and the front and rear wings which of course is for the team’s new Infiniti sponsor. It definitely drew the attention of those present at the launch, along with the online worldwide viewers as the unveiling took place – like many Formula One teams this year – on the Internet via YouTube.
The partnership between Red Bull and Infiniti already has been in place with engineering personnel moved to Red Bull Racing’s home-base. Team Principal Christian Horner commented, “Our stronger link with Infiniti from 2013 is part of the natural evolution of our team and demonstrates its growth. We are still a young racing outfit and this title partnership is a very welcome aspect of our development. I firmly believe it will prove to be of enormous benefit on both sides over the coming years.”
Newey added, “Probably the most significant change is not the regulations, but the new Pirelli tyres. We had a quick test with those in practice ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix but in truth we didn’t learn a lot because of the conditions. Pirelli have supplied us data about how the new tyres behave but past experience tells us that it’s only when we go testing that we really find out.”
Newey had a busy 2012 season, working both at the main offices preparing for the RB9 and at the track during the season. The drivers’ feedback during the season has been one of his considerations as they made changes during the past season and of course for the new car.
“It’s a tribute to all the hard work of the guys over the winter because we had a very tight championship battle last year,” he said. “It was difficult trying to continue development of last year’s car while also doing research into the RB9. Obviously it worked for us, but it gave us a very tight timeframe to design and manufacture this car,” said Newey.
The RB9 differences are mainly under the skin of the car but 2014 will be the major changes in Formula One, but for now Newey, is focused on this coming season.
Looking toward the preseason testing and the opener in Australia, Vettel added, “Pretty soon though I started training again, preparing for the new season and I’m very excited because this is the first time I’ve seen the car in one piece. I’ve seen little bits, but it looks very nice, so now we’ll get to see if it works as expected. I’m excited to get going again, to get back in the car, start testing and then go racing. Then, we’ll finally find out where we are.”
Webber commented on entering his seventh season with the team. (It) is a massive advantage. I couldn’t have envisaged it when I joined and it’s hard to believe that you could be with the same Formula One team for seven years, as continuity is not always easy to achieve in this sport.”
Red Bull Racing will now head to Jerez for the first preseason test. Horner commented about having the same two drivers start their fifth season as teammates: “We’re fortunate that we’ve been able to maintain continuity within our group. This is the fifth year that this driver pairing has been together. We’ve got continuity throughout all of the technical teams and all the key areas. I think that’s proof that there is a fierce determination to keep both of those trophies in the cabinet for another year.”