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Say hello to the RB9
Earlier this week we saw Lotus, McLaren and Ferrari unveil what they’ll be taking to battle for the 2013 Formula One season. Today, TopGear.com found time in between our Sunday roast and tonight’s show to pop down to Red Bull Racing’s HQ in Milton Keynes to see what they’re bringing to the party.
Unsurprisingly the new car - the RB9 - isn’t a radical redesign, as the 2013 regulations are largely unchanged. But they do have a new purple livery to incorporate Red Bull’s new title partner, Infiniti.
“RB9 is an evolutionary car,” Red Bull’s Adrian Newey told us. “It’s really been a case of refining the RB8”. Which wasn’t a bad place to start: both last year’s Drivers’ World Championship and Manufacturers’ trophy currently reside on the mantelpiece at RBR HQ.
Adrian also said that “the devil has very much been in the detail with this car”. He’s tidied up bits from last year, and put most of the time getting the bits in the middle right: they’re the hardest to change throughout the season, whereas the front and rear can developed throughout the season to enhance performance. Something that Seb used to great effect to pull in the points at the end of last year to win the Championship…
“We had a very strong finish last season, but it was hard, as the season was so long,” says the three-time World Champ. And what does a 26 time race winner do in his time off? DIY apparently… and sleep. “Pretty soon though I started training again, preparing for the new season and I’m very excited. I’m excited to get going again, to get back in the car, start testing and then go racing. Then, we’ll finally find out where we are.”
The main concern for the season at Red Bull centred around the four black blobs of rubber at the corner of the car. “[This year] the most significant change is not the regulations, but the new Pirelli tyres,” says Newey.
Ah yes, the tyres. TopGear.com had a go at making those last week and Adrian, if you’re reading, we’re sorry if you get our batch…
“We had a quick test with the tyres in practice ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix but in truth we didn’t learn a lot because of the conditions” Newey explained. “Pirelli have supplied us data about how the new tyres behave, but past experience tells us that it’s only when we go testing that we really find out.”
Most F1 teams are flying out to southern Spain this evening, for testing at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit starting on Tuesday. Alonso won’t be there and Sebastian said that he doesn’t think it’ll have much effect as Jerez isn’t a circuit they actually race on.
TG.com will, however, be there when Mark Webber takes the car out of the pits for the first time. Think it’ll be fast, dot commers? Also, as Seb has a tendedncy to name his cars (Luscious Liz, Kate’s Dirty Sister and Kinky Kylie to name a few), what’s he going to name this one?