|First photos/drawings of the RB9|
The Red Bull team unveiled on Sunday the car its Renault powered RB9 designed by F1 genius designer Adrian Newey. The team's goal - winning its fourth consecutive Formula 1 championship double.
The car features a stepped nose unlike some of its competition, which chose to hide the hideous looking step with a courtesy panel.
The launch today of Infiniti Red Bull Racingâ€™s 2013 car, the RB9, not only marked the unveiling of the car with which the team will defend its Formula One Driversâ€™ and Constructorsâ€™ titles, but it also ushered in a new era for the team. The car features a striking new livery that reflects the strengthened relationship between Red Bull Racing and premium automotive brand Infiniti.
Triple World Formula One Champion Sebastian Vettel and nine-time grand prix-winner Mark Webber were on hand at the teamâ€™s UK base at Milton Keynes to give the worldâ€™s media its first glimpse of the new car and livery, which integrates Infinitiâ€™s purple-hued branding with the teamâ€™s existing racing colors.
The unveiling was an opportunity for Infiniti to reveal that not only has it agreed a four-year deal to become the teamâ€™s title partner, as announced in November 2012, but also that it will become the exclusive Vehicle Performance Partner of the team.
Red Bull's technical chief Adrian Newey says the new RB9 is an evolution of the championship-winning car of last year.
"It's an evolutionary car," said Newey during the launch of Red Bull's ninth Formula 1 single-seater.
"There were no big regulation changes over the winter. The most significant change is not the regulations, it's the new Pirelli tires. We had a quick test in P1 in Brazil but it was very hot and on a green track and in truth we didn't learn a lot."
"It's really been a case of refining the RB8. There are no huge changes. It's very much an evolutionary car. All the principles the same as last year.
"The devil has very much been in the detail with this car. We've tidied up some bits that we felt could be improved on. Development is now the key through the year."
"We need to continue to understand the tires," he said. "Every time we thought we understood them last year, some fresh surprise would come in and we'd realize it wasn't complete. And they've changed the tire anyway this year.
"Past experience is that it's only when we get out testing that we really find out about the tires."
"We obviously had a very tight championship battle last year and it was difficult trying to develop last year's car and do the research into this year's car," he said.
"It gave us a very tight timeframe to manufacture this car. To have it here today, two days before the first test, is a remarkable effort."
Red Bull Press Release
Infiniti Red Bull Racing set the defense of its Formula One Driversâ€™ and Constructorsâ€™ Championship titles in motion today with the launch of its 2013 car, the RB9, in Milton Keynes UK.
In front of an audience of team members, partners, guests and international media, drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber drew back the sheet to reveal the RB9, the final installment in a generation of designs that have bought Infiniti Red Bull Racing 34 grand prix victories and six World Championships.
Nine times grand prix winner Mark and triple World Champion Sebastian were joined on stage by team principal Christian Horner, chief technical officer Adrian Newey and corporate vice president global marketing communications representing Infiniti, Simon Sproule.
Despite the largely unchanged nature of the technical regulations for 2013, Adrian Newey explained that the off-season was far from relaxed. â€śItâ€™s a tribute to all the hard work of the guys over the winter because we had a very tight championship battle last year,â€ť he said. â€śIt was difficult trying to continue development of last yearâ€™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.
â€śRB9 is an evolutionary car,â€ť he added. â€śProbably the most significant change is not the regulations, but the new Pirelli tires. We had a quick test with those in practice ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix but in truth we didnâ€™t learn a lot because of the conditions. Pirelli have supplied us data about how the new tires behave but past experience tells us that itâ€™s only when we go testing that we really find out.â€ť
The continuity in Infiniti Red Bull Racingâ€™s driver line-up for 2013 is much more straightforward. Sebastian is beginning his fifth year with the team, while this will be Markâ€™s seventh straight season with Infiniti Red Bull Racing, the longest-established team-driver combination on the 2013 grid.
â€śThe fact that this is my seventh season with the team is a massive advantage,â€ť said Mark. â€śI couldnâ€™t have envisaged it when I joined and itâ€™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.
â€śI think the way we keep people excited and motivated here is important,â€ť he added. â€śItâ€™s quite a small operation, but obviously weâ€™re big on ambition and desire and that makes us perform very well. Iâ€™ve really enjoyed the years Iâ€™ve had here so far and I canâ€™t wait to get going this season.â€ť
After a thrilling climax to the 2012 season which saw Sebastian claim his third title in as many years, the sportâ€™s youngest ever triple world champion has had the opportunity to recharge his batteries over the last two months and professed himself more than ready to begin the task of trying to win a fourth straight title, something done only twice before in the history of the sport.
â€śWe had a very strong finish last season, but it was hard as the season was so long â€“ it was important for me to enjoy being home,â€ť he said. â€śPretty soon though I started training again, preparing for the new season and Iâ€™m very excited because this is the first time Iâ€™ve seen the car in one piece. Iâ€™ve seen little bits, but it looks very nice, so now weâ€™ll get to see if it works as expected. Iâ€™m excited to get going again, to get back in the car, start testing and then go racing. Then, weâ€™ll finally find out where we are.â€ť
As Infiniti Red Bull Racing begins the defense of its world titles, Christian Horner emphasized the value of stability in the team. â€śThe 2012 season was tough and long, but our success was testimony to all the hard work and dedication in the factory,â€ť he said. â€śWeâ€™re fortunate that weâ€™ve been able to maintain continuity within our group. This is the fifth year that this driver pairing has been together. Weâ€™ve got continuity throughout all of the technical teams and all the key areas. I think thatâ€™s proof that there is a fierce determination to keep both of those trophies in the cabinet for another year.â€ť
The team departs for southern Spain this evening, with testing of the RB9 due to commence at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit on Tuesday. Mark will give the car its track debut, driving on Tues 5 and Wed 6 February, with Sebastian taking over for the final two days, on Thurs 7 and Fri 8 February.
See also this video....