Red Bull Racing launched its 2011 challenger – the RB7 – today at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit near Valencia, Spain. The car, which the team hopes will successfully defend its two Formula One titles, was unveiled in the pit lane at 0830hrs by 2010 World Champion Sebastian Vettel and his teammate Mark Webber. This was followed by a press conference in the Team's Energy Station wîth the two drivers, team principal Christian Horner and chief technical officer Adrian Newey. The RB7 completed its first lap of the circuit when testing began at 1000hrs.
It's just 11 weeks since Sebastian Vettel drove to victory in Abu Dhabi and less than six weeks before the car will contest the Bahrain Grand Prix. This morning was the culmination of months of hard work in Milton Keynes, where every department has been focused on increasing the silverware in the Red Bull Racing trophy cabinets.
Christian Horner commented: ' It's a great feeling to arrive here and roll out the car wîth the number one on it as the reigning World Champions, but now the challenge is to keep it. The team's been very focused on RB7 over the last few months; Adrian didn't release his drawings any earlier than normal, so the whole design group and production team have done a remarkable job to produce this car in the shortest possible time. It's a long season, the longest in F1 history, and we have some great opponents, but we are very motivated and will be working hard to hold on to the two world titles. I'm sure it's going to be a fascinating battle.'
Adrian Newey said: 'It's always a special moment when a car runs for the first time. The big challenge for us this year was the reintroduction of the KERS system. It's always a challenge to find solutions, which don't compromise the aerodynamics of the car. This season, wîth McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes all having KERS, we need to get it to work, simply for performance off the line.' On the day it launched its all-new RB7, Red Bull Racing is pleased to welcome several new partners for 2011, as well as reconfirming continuing and enhanced agreements wîth many of its existing partners. Red Bull Racing's Partner portfolio now includes: Total, Rauch, Pepe Jeans, Casio, Singha Beer, FXDD, Geox, Pirelli, Alpinestars, Platform Computing and Siemens.Source - Red Bull
After our launch in the pitlane at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, Sebastian went on to set the pace in today's testing.
While there is still a long way to go this year – all the way to te end of November – the RB7 demonstrated pace and reliability in the season's opening day.
Sebastian managed 93 laps and set the quickest time of the day: 1:13.769.
Afterwards he said: 'I felt comfortable in the car, I enjoyed it. It was day one for most of us and there's a long way to go wîth testing ahead of the season and a very long season after that – so things can change! We only made the first step today, but we had a reliable day and can be very proud of what we have achieved so far.'
Our Head of Race Engineering, Ian Morgan said: 'We had a very good shakedown and completed everything we aimed to. It's an encouraging start to what we hope will be a successful season for the RB7.'
It will be Sebastian who starts in the cockpit again in the morning.Source - Red Bull
Infiniti Red Bull Racing: DOUBLE PODIUM = 33 MORE POINTS
Car 1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Finish Position: 2nd, Start Position: POLE POSITION 'Of course I'm disappointed. I think it was a very difficult race from start to finish and we led every single lap, apart from the last one, or part of the last one. I think I was probably too conservative when I was in the lead after the last safety car; I didn't open the gap enough and was trying to hold the gap to the cars behind. Then I saw Jenson coming through, I was pushing and thought it would be enough to the end, but obviously it wasn't, as I made a mistake. It's down to me, I locked up the rear a little bit and what you have to do then is open up the car and go a bit straighter, there's only one line and I ended up in the wet, so it was quite easy for him to pass. But, surely I think it was a good day today, it's easy to make mistakes and there were a lot of cars not finishing, so it's good to get the points. That said, at the moment – when you have it in your hands and you give it away – then it's not the sweetest feeling. But, I think all in all, it was a good race for us today.'
Car 2 MARK WEBBER, Finish Position: 3rd, Start Position: 4th 'It was an eventful race! I had a few people to pass after the break; it wasn't too hard until the dry line appeared on the racing line and it was slippery off line. It was then very hard to clear some of the guys, as it meant there was such a narrow window to get down the inside of people. When you have experienced guys like Michael (Schumacher) and Nick (Heidfeld) to pass, well those guys know what they're doing, so it becomes even trickier. I decided to roll the dice and go onto the slicks. I was happy to see that not everyone followed immediately, so I had two laps which was enough to bring me back in the game for the podium. Then it was a pretty good fight wîth Michael, we both wanted the same bit of track when we were braking for the chicane, but when JB arrived, he was absolutely flying. Today's result means plenty of points for the team and it's a good result, so I'm pretty happy wîth that.'
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: 'After a long afternoon and to have pretty much led every lap of the race, it was obviously frustrating to lose the Grand Prix almost in sight of the chequered flag. Jenson was very quick in the closing stages of the race and Sebastian was fighting very hard to keep him out of the DRS zone, as we could see how powerful that was. Únfortunately Sebastian made a rare mistake on a day when a lot of drivers made a lot of mistakes. He paid a price, but second is still a very good result and far from disastrous. We got a lot of points and Sebastian's only 14 points off a maximum score after seven races, which is an achievement in itself. I think Formula One provided tremendous entertainment this afternoon. Mark battled his way back through the field and had a great duel wîth Michael; he put in an excellent drive to join Sebastian on the podium, so from a team point of view to get a second and third on a day when neither Fernando nor Lewis scored, is still a very good afternoon's work. Hats off to the guys who stood in the rain for an hour and a half today waiting for the re-start, hopefully there won't be too many wîth colds in the morning.'
CYRIL DÚMONT, Renault: 'I have mixed feelings today. It was a good recovery from Mark, who was 14th after the second corner incident wîth Lewis, so a great recovery from him. For Sebastian, it was a more straightforward race, but unfortunately he made a small mistake at the end. But, in the Championship, it's still a very good result for him, he started the race 58 points ahead of Hamilton and now he's 60 points ahead of Button, so it's good for him. For the team it's also a good result, as we got more points than all the others.'Source - Red Bull
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