Infiniti Red Bull Racing design guru Adrian Newey says the team’s 2013 charger, the RB9, is an “evolutionary car”.
Speaking at the unveiling of the RB9, with which it hopes to claim a fourth successive World Championship, he said the consistency in the regulations mean the biggest challenge will be understanding the new Pirelli tyres.
“The RB9 is an evolutionary car,” he said. “Probably the most significant change is not the regulations, but the new Pirelli tyres. We had a quick test with those in practice ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix but in truth we didn’t learn a lot because of the conditions.
“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.”
Newey said they felt the effects of the 2012 title fight, which went to the final round in Brazil.
However, despite a tight schedule, he is confident the consistent regulations mean the new car will be a success.
“It’s a tribute to all the hard work of the guys over the winter because we had a very tight championship battle last year,” he said. “It was difficult trying to continue development of last year’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.”
Despite the challenges of 2012 and witnessing his teammate Sebastian Vettel claim a third-successive World Championship, Mark Webber is optimistic for the coming campaign and in sticking with the Milton Keynes squad believes he can fight for the title.
“The fact that this is my seventh season with the team is a massive advantage,” he enthused. “I couldn’t have envisaged it when I joined and it’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
“We had a very strong finish last season, but it was hard as the season was so long – it was important for me to enjoy being home. Pretty soon though I started training again, preparing for the new season and I’m very excited because this is the first time I’ve seen the car in one piece.
“I’ve seen little bits, but it looks very nice, so now we’ll get to see if it works as expected. 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.”