Red Bull have become the latest F1 team to launch their 2010 design as the RB6 was unveiled ahead of the opening day of the second group test, taking place at the Spanish Jerez circuit.
The RB6 like its race winning predecessor is the product of Adrian Newey, one of the most respected designers in the F1 paddock. However, for a man whose recent designs have pioneered elements – such as the 'v'-nose and shark fin – that can now be found on many other designs, the RB6 is remarkably restrained on first viewing.
“The RB6 is very much an evolution of the 2009 car; we tried to refine and evolve it rather than go to new concepts,” explains Newey.
“There was more to it than simply putting a bigger tank in the car,” he adds, addressing the rule changes every team have had to deal with. “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 tyre degradation early in the race and if there's anything we should change mechanically to cope with that. The narrower front tyre changes weight distribution and the balance of the car.
“I think it's a sensible evolution of the 2009 car.”
The evolution sees the car retain the same chassis as well as the rear pull-rod suspension, though that element of the car, along with the gearbox has been altered in order to accommodate a double diffuser, an area Newey describes as designed “from scratch”.
“2009 was a massive year for the team and I think we took a huge step forward,” says Christian Horner, RBR Principal. 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.”
The RB6 launch was followed by its testing debut as Red Bull join nine other teams at Jerez this week.