Red Bull RB6 released

The new Red Bull RB6

The new Red Bull RB6

The new Red Bull car, the RB6, has been revealed at the Jerez test today.

The team have missed the first test session last week in Valencia, a risky move. Christian Horner, the team principal, explained the new changes on the car:

“The RB6 is very much an evolution of the 2009 car. We tried to refine and evolve it rather than go to new concepts.”

“As a result, the car looks similar with elements such as the chassis and pull-rod rear suspension retained. The two main challenges were the larger fuel tank and the smaller front tyre. With the fuel tank, there was more to it than simply putting a bigger tank in the car – it puts more load on the brakes, so the brake cooling has to cope with that and you also have to consider what effect that extra fuel will have on the tyre degradation early in the race and if there’s anything we should change mechanically to cope with that.”

“The narrower front tyre changes weight distribution and the balance of the car. I think it’s a sensible evolution of the 2009 car. One obvious difference is that the 2009 car was not designed to suit a double-diffuser and we had to try to put one on as best we could around the existing rear suspension and gear box. With this car we’ve been able to design that part of the car from scratch.”

The livery is exactly the same as last year, but that’s not a bad thing, as it still looks great. The car, on the outside, looks quite similar, but with a few small changes. Parts of the front wing sections has been lengthened, the horned nose section has been revised, and the bargeboard section has been changed.

The fact that there is no significant change worries me a little, but considering how dominant their car was in the last 3 races of last season, the team should still have high hopes. Mark Webber talked about their expectations for the season:

“I think the team has some very good, high expectations,” he said prior to his first run in the car. “We had a great season last year and we are not looking to go backwards from that position, so we have some tough goals to meet – as do all the other teams.”

“To go forward from there we need everything right and that’s what we’ve tried to do as best we can. We are very excited, we’ve worked hard and there’s been a lot of anticipation.”

Christian Horner talked about the team’s challenge, and said he expects a 4-way battle for the championship:

“I think that 2009 was a massive year for the team,” he said. “We made a huge step forward. I think the group matured very well.”

“You have to remember that Red Bull Racing is still a relatively young team, so I think with the lessons that we learned in 2009 about the performance of the car and how that evolved during the season, plus the stability we’ve had throughout the winter, we are in good shape for 2010.”

“Our target is obviously to win the championship, but we totally respect the quality of the opponents we have. We have set ourselves very aggressive targets.”

“I think you are going to have four teams that are race-winning contenders this season. McLaren and Ferrari look like they have come up with good cars, and for sure the Mercedes GP team is going to be competitive with its driver line-up.”

“But we are quietly confident we’ve made good progress during the winter. We’ve kept our heads down. We’ve kept working on the concept that served us well last year – and Adrian and his guys have come up with another very good car.”

“We go into the year with continuity with the drivers as well. Sebastian [Vettel] matured very well in 2009 and got stronger and stronger throughout the season, and Mark [Webber] is now back to full fitness – which compares to 12 months ago, when he was carrying a nasty injury.”

There is a good summary of photos, with a video on YouTube:

Pictures from the launch:

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