New Red Bull breaks cover in Barcelona 26 Jan 2007
After completing a few discreet installation laps in plain blue livery on Wednesday, Red Bulls 2007 car made its official track debut at Spains Circuit de Catalunya on Friday.
David Coulthard carried out the shakedown earlier in the week, but it was new team mate Mark Webber who had the honour of driving the RB3 in its 2007 race colours for the first time. The pair were joined for the occasion by Red Bull testers Robert Doornbos and Michael Ammermuller, along with senior team management.
According to its creator Adrian Newey, the RB3 is an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, design, combining aggressive packaging and plenty of development potential. An element of flexibility was built into the design from the start to cope with the car's Renault engine and Bridgestone tyres - both of which are new to the team for 2007.
Newey admitted the RB3 - the first Red Bull completed entirely under his watch -does include influences from his previous work with McLaren, but insisted it also features plenty of new thinking.
Undoubtedly some aspects of RB3 are McLarenesque and are, to some extent, a development of the work I was doing when I was there, he told Red Bulls official website. In other areas, there are derivatives of what has been done here at Red Bull and, of course, there are some completely fresh ideas.
Newey also revealed that the cars development schedule had been somewhat more hectic than he would have liked, thanks largely to the relatively late commissioning of the teams Bedford wind tunnel facility.
With RB3, we didnt get the model of the car into the wind tunnel until June 2006, which was a lot later than we would really have wanted, he explained. That made for a very busy time prior to hitting the key release dates for fundamentals like the monocoque and the gearbox.
The design cycle has been very compressed which has brought its own pressures on both the engineers and the shop floor, but the response by everybody to that pressure has been truly extraordinary and one which we should be very proud of.
With the RB3, Red Bull will be hoping to improve on their 2006 performance, which saw them score their first podium finish en route to seventh place in the constructors championship.