|Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel unveil the Red Bull RB6|
The Red Bull Racing F1 team took the covers off its RB6 in the Jerez pitlane on Wednesday morning. The Adrian Newey-designed machine on the surface, and according to driver Sebastian Vettel, is a logical evolution of the 2009 RB5 that proved to be Formula 1's fastest car in the second half of the season.
The car features a more extreme V-nose contour than on last year's car, with highly-crafted sidepods and the same copycat shark fin engine cover that has appeared on other F1 cars this year.
|Red Bull RB6|
The car also features a new front-wing design and of course a double diffuser.
Red Bull Racing had opted to skip the first pre-season test at Valencia last week but the car appears fully finished now and Mark Webber will give the car its first laps today at Jerez.
Smiles turned to consternation in the Red Bull garage on Wednesday after the RB6 was launched in the pitlane.
After a mostly wet morning at the wheel of the new Renault powered car, Mark Webber had to walk back to the pits after it broke down with an oil leak.
The team said the stoppage was actually "precautionary", and Australian Webber also played down the problem as being "nothing major".
The RB6 is clearly an evolution of the highly competitive 2009 car, but its double diffuser is clearly new, as the rear device was carefully covered during the launch.
Also notable was the presence of the former Renault sponsor Pepe Jeans on the livery.
Sebastian Vettel, watching on from the pitwall on Wednesday, said he is yet to give the car a personal name, after last year's RB5 was humorously called 'Kate's Dirty Sister' because it was faster than the 2008 car, 'Kate'.
Webber was yet to set a front-running time by the time of the oil leak.
Adrian Newey, Chief Technical Officer: “The RB6 is very much an evolution of the 2009 car;
we tried to refine and evolve it rather than go to new concepts. As a result, the car looks similar
with elements such as the chassis and pull-rod rear suspension retained. The two main
challenges were the larger fuel tank and the smaller front tire. With the fuel tank, there was
more to it than simply putting a bigger tank in the car – it puts more load on the brakes, so the
brake cooling has to cope with that and you also have to consider what effect that extra fuel will
have on the tire degradation early in the race and if there’s anything we should change
mechanically to cope with that. The narrower front tire changes weight distribution and the
balance of the car. I think it’s a sensible evolution of the 2009 car. One obvious difference is
that the 2009 car was not designed to suit a double-diffuser and we had to try to put one on as
best we could around the existing rear suspension and gear box. With this car we’ve been able
to design that part of the car from scratch.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal: “2009 was a massive year for the team and I think we took
a huge step forward. Red Bull Racing’s still a relatively young team and so the lessons that we
learned last year will serve us well going into 2010. The performance of the car developed
throughout 2009 and I believe we ended the year with the best chassis. We’ve had stability
over the winter and continuity in all areas, so I think we’re in good shape. We completely
respect the quality of our opponents, but we’re setting ourselves aggressive targets. It’s
fantastic to see the car finally taking to the track after so much hard work and effort.”
Q&A with Adrian Newey
How much, if at all, were you hindered in building the RB6 by Red Bull Racing's battle for the 2009 championship?
For 2010 the regulation changes have been relatively small and meant any research for the 2009 car was relevant to this season, as a result there was much less of a choice to be made between 2009 and 2010 development. We initially concentrated on the challenges of almost doubling the size of the fuel tank from the no refuelling regulation and what impact the narrower front tire would have. The 2010 aerodynamic work started around June, looking at the monocoque where there's been a small regulation change to the V-section chassis we use. The rest of the chassis work was aerodynamic optimization and accommodating the extra 70-odd kilos of fuel.
What are the main differences between the RB5 and the RB6?
The car is very much an evolution of the 2009 car - there is a big family likeness. We tried to refine and evolve it rather than go to new concepts. As such, the car looks similar with elements such as the chassis and pull-rod rear suspension retained.
What were the main challenges when designing the RB6?
The two obvious ones are the fuel tank and the knock-on effect of that and the smaller front tire. In addition, there are the normal challenges of trying to evolve the car and make sure that it's faster than its predecessor
How much have the '10 regulations affected the design of the RB6?
There's more to it than simply putting a big fuel tank in the car. The bigger fuel tank puts more load on the brakes, so the brake cooling has to cope with that. You also have to consider what effect that extra fuel will have on the tire degradation early in the race and if there's anything we should change mechanically to cope with that. The narrower front tire changes weight distribution and the balance of the car.
What do you like most about the RB6?
It's a question I'm often asked and always struggle with, to be honest with you. I hope it's a sensible evolution of the 2009 car. One obvious difference is that the 2009 car was not designed to suit a double-diffuser and we had to try to put one on as best we could around the existing rear suspension and gear box. With this car we've been able to design the car from scratch.
Do the different heights of Sebastian and Mark affect design?
The car has to be designed around Mark, which means the cockpit has to be a bit longer than the minimum regulation and the fuel tank has to be moved rearwards slightly because fuel is not allowed to be stored ahead of the driver's back. Once we've done that then fitting the shorter driver in, Sebastian, is relatively easy.
What's was the thinking behind the later launch date of the RB6?
We wanted to give ourselves as much time as possible to research and develop the car. Because the car is evolutionary we didn't need to be out early to establish its basic concepts, so we wanted to allow ourselves as much time as possible to research it.
How do you feel about staying with Renault for 2010?
We've been very happy with the partnership and the support Renault have given, particularly when we've have problems. When we were short on engines with Sebastian last season or when there was development we needed to do in the middle of the year on the engine mapping, Renault were very helpful. The reason we looked at other manufacturers was because it was clear one had gained a large power advantage. But we've had discussions with Renault and are confident they will redress that imbalance.
What are your realistic hopes for Red Bull Racing in 2010?
That we put on a performance that we can be proud of - as long as we feel we've got the best out of what we have then I'll be happy with that.
Chassis: Composite monocoque structure, designed and built in-house, carrying the Renault V8 engine as fully stressed member
Transmission: Seven-speed gearbox, longitudinally mounted with hydraulic system for power shift and clutch operation. AP Racing clutch
Wheels: OZ Racing, Front: 12.0in x 13in diam., Rear: 13.7in x 13in diam.
Suspension: Front: Aluminum alloy uprights, carbon-composite double wishbone with springs and anti-roll bar, Multimatic dampers
Rear: Aluminum alloy uprights, carbon-composite double wishbone with springs and anti-roll bar, Multimatic dampers
Brakes: Brembo calipers, Brembo carbon discs and pads
Electronics:FIA (MESL) standard control unit
Fuel: Total Group
Renault Engine RS27-2010
Number of cylinders: 8
Max rpm: 18,000rpm
Number of valves: 32
Veeangle: 90 degrees
Power output: Not disclosed
Engine construction: Cylinder block in cast aluminum
Engine management: FIA (MESL) standard control unit TAG310B
Oil: Total Group
Weight: FIA minimum weight of 95kg