Webber Happy With RB9 Track Debut

Mark Webber declared himself satisfied with the maiden running of Infiniti Red Bull Racing‘s RB9 at the first pre-season test at Jerez.

The Australian completed 73 laps with a best time of 1m19.709s to finish the day second on the timesheets.

Despite being nearly a full second behind McLaren’s Jenson Button, he believes the times – somewhat unrepresentative at this stage of testing – can be considered competitive.

“It was pretty good,” he said. “There haven’t been big changes to the regulations this year and the car is an evolution of the one we finished with last season, so there were no big surprises.

“I think most of the drivers will sit back tonight and think today’s times were pretty competitive.

One of few key changes for 2013 is the new Pirelli tyres, and Webber said the conditions allowed the team to make a reasonable assessment of the new rubber – one which left him feeling positive.

“It was actually like a Friday practice session in some regards,” he added. “We started understanding the tyres and there were a lot of positives. There’s a bit of housekeeping we have to get on top of but, other than that, it’s been encouraging.

“The car feels similar to last year’s, so the main difference is the tyres. With these tyres you’re always on your toes. It was good that we had consistent temperatures today, so we got a lot of information and feedback to analyse, which is all good. Generally though, the car feels pretty good, so I’m happy.”