The new Red Bull hit the track today, for all of 14 laps before being halted by a gearbox problem. Uh-oh. The gearbox was the Achilles Heel in 2007. Let’s hope that this is just a small teething problem.
The car looks pretty cool, I like the long think nose and the experts seem to think that there is a lot of tidy detail there, showing that the extra time in the wind-tunnel has been well spent.
The fact that Adrian Newey has been pushed into the foreground on this launch is interesting and tells me two things; first that he thinks the car is a real winner and is happy to be strongly identified with its design and second that as (surely) Red Bull’s highest paid employee they are keen to get as much value out of him as possible.
Rumours have him being paid in the £8 million a year range. If the FIA gets it’s €50 million a year budget plan through, it’ll be very interesting to see how he and RBR deal with that!
It’s not uncommon for Newey cars to come out a little later that others, but with so little testing they have to hope that the reliability is there.
Mark Webber drives the car on Wednesday. I’m told that he is well ahead of schedule on his rehab because he’s very fit and because he’s done all the right things to get it to heal as well as possible. It’s the right leg, so not the load bearing leg for braking. If he was doing a load bearing sport, like soccer he’d be out for another three months.
Team principal Christian Horner mentioned in his Q&A that the team will slim down a little because there is no test team. The figure I hear is that there will be 70 redundancies.