F1

Red Bull F1 halts first RB5 test

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Red Bull F1 halts first RB5 test

Gearbox oil temperature brought an end to Red Bull's first test for the 2009 car, the RB5. The Adrian Newey-designed chassis, an egret of elegance, was unveiled in the pit lane at Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, on Monday. New team driver Sebastian...

Gearbox oil temperature brought an end to Red Bull's first test for the 2009 car, the RB5. The Adrian Newey-designed chassis, an egret of elegance, was unveiled in the pit lane at Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, on Monday. New team driver Sebastian Vettel took the car through installation laps, completing 14 before the team decided rising gearbox oil temp should be investigated. No lap times were offered.

Sebastian Vettel stops on circuit in the new Red Bull RB5.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Team principal Christian Horner said ending the program early was precautionary. He said the RB5 was equipped with KERS (kinetic energy recovery system). Teams are adjusting not only to using the optional KERS but to balancing weight the system adds.

"Following a successful shakedown, we stopped the car as a precautionary measure because the gearbox oil temperature was beginning to rise," Horner said. "We ran with our KERS system fitted to the car, but it was not operational. We simply carried it to assess its impact on other elements of the package, such as weight distribution, and to study the effects on the system of vibrations and other forces."

Vettel said his first laps were insufficient to forming a descriptive opinion.

"The guys did a fantastic job to get the car here and ready for this first run," he said. "I was happy to be driving again, but don't ask me to comment on the feel of the car as it's far too early for that. With the shakedown out of the way, we can get down to developing the car starting tomorrow and over the next few days. Stopping early today was the right decision, as you really need to understand exactly what causes any problem on a brand new car."

Red Bull, with lead driver Mark Webber fresh off new surgery on his right leg, broken in November, will be joined Tuesday at Circuito de Jerez by other Formula One teams McLaren Mercedes, Renault, Scuderia Toro Rosso and Williams. Toro Rosso is the only one of those yet to introduce a new car. Ferrari, BMW Sauber and Toyota are scheduled to test in Bahrain. Force India is undercover until next month.

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