New Red Bull RB5 breaks cover in Chilly Jerez
The waiting press, television and photographers were given their first glimpse of Newey’s latest interpretation of the 2009 rules when Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel removed the blue drape to reveal Red Bull Racing’s The Renault-powered challenger for 2009.
The car features a higher and slimmer nose compared to other 2009 cars, and has incorporated bargeboards around the area of the sidepods. However, the first thing that comes to mind is driver safety, and although the car looks good, the slim nose appears to offer less protection to the driver.
The car will be powered by an improved Renault power unit as the French car manufacturer has been allowed by the FIA to make selected engine improvements over the off-season to catch up to the others.
"2009 will also see us benefit from greater stability in terms of how we run the operation, with all our key players in the technical group having been with us for at least two years," said Team principal Christian Horner. "We should not forget they designed a car that won a grand prix in 2008, in the hands of Sebastian Vettel and Scuderia Toro Rosso.
"There is no reason to believe we cannot do that again with these new rules. The regulation changes almost constitute a new formula for the sport and it will be interesting to see how the teams interpret them.
"Certainly in the early part of this season we expect to see a much bigger spread in terms of performance between the teams than we have over the past two years. "
"Going into 2009, the team is now well placed to take advantage of the rule changes, not just the technical ones that we have known about for some time, but also those established through the efforts of FIA and FOTA last December.
"Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Technology carried no excess weight anyway in terms of manpower, so adjusting to the new rules has, for us, been relatively straight-forward and we are in good shape for the future.
"The changes caused few interruptions to our workflow and they will also assist the larger manufacturer teams in cutting costs, in terms of manpower. Over the past year, we had invested strategically, and therefore, with the rules as they now stand, we are in a good position to capitalize on them, as they present an opportunity for teams to compete on a more level playing field."
Adrian Newey has said that he believes the cars with the most effective weight distribution will be the most successful in the 2009 season. The new regulations for the season ahead require slick tires as well as aerodynamic modifications, which will have a considerable effect on the balance of the car. The Red Bull Racing chief designer has designed the new RB5 with that in mind, he told autosport.com.
‘The main area of change with going back to slick tires was in terms of weight distribution, as it will put greater strain on the rear tires, so at the design stage, we moved the weight distribution forward a bit.”
Newey confirmed that the RB5 incorporates KERS, which is optional for the 2009 season. Similarly, one of the issues associated with a conventional battery-operated KERS apparatus was its weight. Of the teams planning to use KERS, only Williams plan to use a flywheel system. Newey said: “We use a battery storage system, which is heavy and therefore affects weight distribution on the car. After everything is packaged in the usual manner, driver, fuel cell, engine, gearbox, you then have to find somewhere for KERS, while maintaining fuel tank capacity and achieving the weight distribution target. RB5 carries its KERS in the base of the fuel tank.”
Red Bull Press Release
Red Bull Racing's 2009 car, the RB5, made its track debut this morning at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in southern Spain. If they start giving out championship points for beauty, then the season seems to have got off to a good start as the RB5 is definitely a pretty little beast.
This morning, Sebastian Vettel nosed the new car out of the garage into the pit lane and suddenly the countdown to Melbourne seems to have picked up speed. "It's good that we got the car running without any major problems, but it's much too early to say anything about performance," commented Seb after completing a handful laps before lunch. "Now we are concentrating on checking all the systems, which are very different to those on last year's car. It's good to be back in a racing car again and I feel as though we are on the way to Australia now. It was a strange feeling when I looked in my mirrors, as you don't see anything behind you, no wings or other bits: all you see is the rear tires and it looks very naked. The view from the front is different too, because of the shape of the nose, but I'll get used to it very quickly".
On hand to watch RB5's maiden outing were Chief Technical Officer, Adrian Newey and Team Principal, Christian Horner. "Today's run here in Jerez is the culmination of months of work for all the Red Bull Technology and Red Bull Racing staff, back at base in Milton Keynes," said Horner. "And like any new car launch it's a moment of excitement and speculation. This year will see us benefit from greater stability in terms of how we run the operation, with all our key players in the technical group having been with us for at least two years and we should not forget they designed a car that won a Grand Prix in 2008, in the hands of Sebastian Vettel. There is no reason to believe we cannot do that again with these new rules. We're excited about our driving pairing: Mark's making a great recovery from his broken leg in a very short space of time and the injury has had minimal impact on his preparation for the season. In Sebastian we've got one of the sport's most exciting young talents and he will be looking to build on his very impressive rookie season."
"2009 arguably sees the biggest rule change for around twenty years," said Newey. "We have taken a clean sheet, blue sky approach, looking at the implications of these rules and how to interpret them, while not changing things simply for the sake of change. Apart from the gearbox internals, there is hardly any carry over from RB4."
Testing continues for the rest of today, Vettel will drive tomorrow then, on Wednesday, it will be Mark Webber's turn to get his hands on RB5. "I thought I'd let Seb do the boring installation laps and the running-in," joked the Australian. "Wednesday's run will be as much a test for me as for the car, as it will be my first go in an F1 car since I broke my leg. My fitness program is bang-on course for Melbourne and this test is a stepping stone on the way to being fighting-fit for my home race. The car looks fantastic and I'm looking forward to driving it."
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