Red Bull reveal their title defender 03 Feb 2013
Red Bull have launched the car with which they hope to win their fourth successive championship double this season. The Renault-powered RB9 was unveiled at the teams UK factory in Milton Keynes on Sunday.
RB9 is an evolutionary car, said its designer Adrian Newey, Red Bulls chief technical officer. 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 didnt learn a lot because of the conditions. Pirelli have supplied us data about how the new tyres behave but past experience tells us that its only when we go testing that we really find out.
The RB9, the ninth Formula One car produced by Red Bull, will be raced by the squads unchanged driver line-up. World champion Sebastian Vettel and team mate Mark Webber start their fifth and seventh season respectively with the team, making them the longest-established partnership on the 2013 grid.
The fact that this is my seventh season with the team is a massive advantage, said Webber. I couldnt have envisaged it when I joined and its 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.
I think the way we keep people excited and motivated here is important, he added. Its quite a small operation, but obviously were big on ambition and desire and that makes us perform very well. Ive really enjoyed the years Ive had here so far and I cant wait to get going this season.
After a thrilling climax to the 2012 season, which saw Vettel claim his third title in as many years, the sports youngest ever triple world champion has had the opportunity to recharge his batteries over the last two months and professed himself more than ready to begin the task of trying to win a fourth straight title, something done only twice before in the history of the 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, he said. Pretty soon though I started training again, preparing for the new season and Im very excited because this is the first time Ive seen the car in one piece. Ive seen little bits, but it looks very nice, so now well get to see if it works as expected. Im excited to get going again, to get back in the car, start testing and then go racing. Then, well finally find out where we are.
As Red Bull begin the defence of their world titles, team principal Christian Horner emphasised the value of stability in the team. The 2012 season was tough and long, but our success was testimony to all the hard work and dedication in the factory, he said. Were fortunate that weve been able to maintain continuity within our group. This is the fifth year that this driver pairing has been together. Weve got continuity throughout all of the technical teams and all the key areas. I think thats proof that there is a fierce determination to keep both of those trophies in the cabinet for another year.
Red Bull depart for southern Spain on Sunday evening, with testing of the RB9 due to commence at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit on Tuesday. Webber will give the car its track debut, driving on Tuesday and Wednesday, with Vettel taking over for the final two days, on Thursday and Friday.
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