The winner of both 2010 Formula One championships, the Red Bull Racing team, today revealed the by Adrian Newey designed Red Bull RB7 during a short media event at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, Spain this morning. Today the first...
2010 Formula One champions, Red Bull Racing, unveiled the new 2011 contender, RB7, at the Ricardo Tormo circuit
The winner of both 2010 Formula One championships, the Red Bull Racing team, today revealed the by Adrian Newey designed Red Bull RB7 during a short media event at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, Spain this morning. Today the first pre-season test sessions officially started, and many teams used the opportunity to present their new car to the media. Team Principal Christian Horner is very confident ahead of the start of the 2011 season. "We are very lucky in that we have possibly the strongest driver line-up in on the grid. Sebastian Vettel will go into 2011 as the youngest ever F1 champion and he will undoubtedly want to become the youngest double winner," said Horner.
And the Briton added, "Mark Webber too had the season of his career. He won four races and was in championship contention right up until the final race. He will have learned a lot of lessons from 2010 and will come back stronger, more motivated and hungrier than ever." But he does expect it will be a long season, "We face the longest year in Formula One this year with 20 races, which will be a challenge and the performance between different teams will flow from the different circuits we visit -- but I am confident that over the course of the season we are very well equipped."
A closer look at the RB7
Looking at the RB7 the same pattern emerges, a high pitched nose, albeit not as high as the other 2011 designs, and a narrower back section with the adjustable rear wing. Red Bull still has the shark fin shaped engine cover, and the characteristic 'humps' on both sides of the cockpit. The front wing is a complete new design, and the car is of course painted in the familiar dark blue and yellow color scheme of the Red Bull drinks company.
The RB7 is an evolution of the highly successful 2010 RB6, and designer Adrian Newey admitted it was quite a challenge to prepare for the 2011 season. "There have been a number of changes to the regulations and while they are not as comprehensive as the changes for 2009, the major differences -- such as the re-introduction of the KERS system and the arrival of a moveable rear wing to aid overtaking -- have meant that RB7 is quite different to last year's car," the designer of the 2010 winning car told the media. "However, what we have done is taken the philosophy of continuing evolution. We have evolved RB6, which itself was an evolution of 2009's RB5, and this is, if you like, the third generation of a successful lineage," he explained.
About the new Pirellis he said, "I want us to learn about the Pirellis as quickly as possible. And therefore give us the maximum amount of time to adapt the car if necessary." There have been rumors some teams have a special trick up their sleeve for this season, is Newey worried about that? "I think it's one of the beauties and great things about Formula One that there is always the possibility that somebody else will come out with a clever idea that the rest of us haven't thought of. I think it's essential that should be part of Formula One -- in that sense it's a period of nervousness for us but also a period of excitement."
Drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber
Defending World Champion Vettel is after a long winter break looking forward to the new season. "At the end of last year I felt tired and needed a rest. But I've had that rest now and I'm really looking forward to it again," the young German said. He has now turned his attention to 2011, "2010 is behind us. It's a very proud memory, but now it's 2011 and there's another job to do, so we move to the next challenge, which is trying to do the same again."
So, what does Vettel expect of the new regulations this year? "KERS we know about already, we have seen the effect on the track in 2009, but the moveable rear wing is a bit of an unknown." But he also warned the new wing shouldn't make overtaking too easy. "No one has ever driven the car with that type of wing and it's difficult to know how it will work: will overtaking be just about possible, which I think is the idea, or will overtaking become very easy and therefore artificial, which is what no one wants to happen," Vettel said today.
Vettel, who has no experience with KERS, "With KERS, the question is how good and how efficient your system is. Not just in terms of performance but in how quickly it recharges the batteries under braking and how much it upsets your car when you do apply it. Obviously, the teams that had it in 2009 have a little bit of an advantage, but we will just have to work hard on that." He doesn't foresee any problems with the new Pirellis, "We have different tyres to work with this season and we have to see how we deal with that. You just have to adapt and try to make your driving style suit the car." Referring to the new regulations he said: "It happens every year and we will deal with it. It's good, it definitely keeps you on your toes."
Australian Webber, who was well on his way to win the championship last year, has hit the reset-button, and is ready for another long and hectic season. "It was shame I didn't manage to pull the Championship off, but it was still very rewarding to be competing for it until the very end," said Webber. About his mixed fortunes last year Webber was remarkably relaxed, "There were many things that we did absolutely right last year and there's no point in saying 'we must change everything'." Webber has hit the reset button, but doesn't think his approach will be very different this season. "You fix the small things that went missing along the way and match those to the good things that were achieved and that's what hopefully makes you up your game," he said with confidence.
What does he think about the new regulations? "We've seen in the last few years in Formula One that they make big regulation changes every year and that's something we, as a team, need to be on top of," said Webber. The Australian is happy with the role designer Newey plays within the Red Bull team, "In Newey, we've got someone who's better able to roll with those kind of punches [referring to the regulation chances] than almost anyone else in Formula One. He's absolutely brilliant at interpreting new regulations and I think I'd rather have Adrian in our corner than almost anybody else."
The Red Bull RB7 has to defend the 2010 title
The Milton Keynes-based team will have to defend both championship titles this season, and the RB7 is the main tool for Vettel and Webber. About the expectations of 2011, Newey was clear, "We've got a great outfit and we have a good atmosphere here. We don't pretend to be anything we're not. We're a Formula One team that goes about its business of trying to make the best possible car it can." He admitted he is quite happy with the Red Bull team, "The team of engineers, indeed everyone, in every department, is working extremely hard to achieve that. It has a great atmosphere and I find that very refreshing and very motivating personally."
As said, Vettel will now be concentrating on defending his title, but he knows it will never be easy." We start here, four tests to go and then 20 races. Everyone starts with zero points. I think winning the championship, no matter when and for who, never comes easy. Even if you start off with one of the quickest cars you might be facing the second half of the season with a car that's not quick enough or the other way round," the 2010 champion said during the launch today.
For Horner the task ahead is already laid out, "We've joined some of the elite names, some of the great teams in Formula One and now we're determined to build on that. We were the most successful team in Formula One in 2010 and we want to consolidate that position and seek out even greater success." And predicted, "As long as we can apply what we learned from 2010 and give it our best shot, the results will take care of themselves - as they did last year."
Today, Vettel will drive the car, on Wednesday both drivers will share the testing duties, and on Thursday Webber will be at the wheel of the RB7.