New Red Bull revealed as 2011 testing commences 01 Feb 2011
The 2011 Formula One season began in earnest on Tuesday morning as the years first official test got underway at the Valencia circuit in Spain. Many teams - including reigning world champions Red Bull - are debuting their new cars at the three-day session, the first of four tests before next months season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Adrian Newey-designed RB7 is the car with which Germanys Sebastian Vettel will defend his drivers title, lining up alongside Australian team mate Mark Webber for the third year in a row.
Preparing for the new season has been an interesting challenge for all of us, said Newey. There have been a number of changes to the regulations and while they are not as comprehensive as the changes for 2009, the major differences - such as the re-introduction of the KERS system and the arrival of a moveable rear wing to aid overtaking - have meant that RB7 is quite different to last years car.
However, what we have done is taken the philosophy of continuing evolution. We have evolved RB6, which itself was an evolution of 2009s RB5, and this is, if you like, the third generation of a successful lineage."
Also revealed early Tuesday morning in the Valencia pitlane were Red Bull's sister team Toro Rosso's new car, the STR6, to be raced by Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari, and Mercedes' MGP W02, the German team continuing with their line-up of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher for 2011.
Williams are using Tuesday's test to debut an interim version of their new FW33, which is running in a temporary blue livery. Rubens Barrichello was first up in the Cosworth-powered machine, with new team mate Pastor Maldonado due to take over from Wednesday afternoon.
Tuesday at Valencia began under clear blue skies and in low-key fashion as several teams completed initial installation laps. Among those on track early were Gary Paffett in an interim version of last year's McLaren (the new MP4-26 will be launched on Friday) and Fernando Alonso in the new Ferrari F150.
Jerome D'Ambrosio has been putting the 2010 Virgin through its paces - their new car will be unveiled next week - and Nico Hulkenberg has had his first track outing as a Force India test driver, with his team due to debut their 2011 machine at the next test in Jerez.
After launching their new cars at the track on Monday, both Sauber and Renault have begun their on-circuit development work, the former with Kamui Kobayashi at the wheel of the C30, the latter with Vitaly Petrov in the R31's cockpit.
At HRT, India's Narain Karthikeyan has completed the first laps of his Formula One comeback, the Spanish team fielding last year's car prior to the launch its forthcoming replacement, the F111. Team Lotus will join the test on Wednesday.
Full testing report at the end of the day.
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