Red Bull Racing had its first proper test with its new car, running this week at the Valencia circuit. The 2007 car, code-name RB3, had its shakedown courtesy of David Coulthard on 24 January in Barcelona and two days later, Mark Webber got his hands on it for his first go behind the wheel.
And it was our Aussie driver who stayed in the cockpit for the first day of testing here in Valencia on Tuesday, handing over to David on Wednesday. Those of you with children will know how they fight if they only have one toy to play with, so the Milton Keynes factory crew worked flat out and sent over a second example of RB3 so that each driver had his own car to drive on Thursday. Only Webber ran on the final day, as, having done the most miles, RB3-01 was given a quick strip down and turn around in preparation for the next test.
As with any new car, the initial focus was on evaluating the many new systems, not least the integration with the new Renault engine, as well as sorting out software on elements such as traction control, gear selection and engine braking. David had a gearbox glitch on the second day, while evaluating aero and suspension set-up changes.
"We had some teething problems which means we did not complete as many laps as we would have liked," said Head of Race and Test Engineering, Paul Monaghan. "However, we learnt a lot and came up with fixes for some of the problems we encountered and we made progress throughout the four days. We are already building up a good relationship with the guys at Renault and we are now looking forward to an even more productive test at Jerez, where we start running on Tuesday (February 6) with two cars and both race drivers."
-credit: red bull