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Red Bull charge out as favourites
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Red Bull charge out as favourites
Posted By: James Allen  |  10 Feb 2010   |  2:09 pm GMT  |  105 comments

The car everyone has been waiting to see broke cover this morning in Jerez, ahead of the second official F1 test.

Picture 9
On paper, Red Bull are favourites for the championship this year because they had the fastest car at the end of the season and had taken a direction in design and philosophy that other teams have clearly copied with their 2010 cars. The new Red Bull is an evolution of last year’s car and as long as Adrian Newey and his team have got their sums right and haven’t built in any reliability issues, this should mean that the new Red Bull car should enjoy a small margin over the others. Time will tell.

In the unchanged driver line up of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, the team has a strong combination capable of winning both championships. Webber is the idea team mate for Vettel because he is fast enough to be a number one driver in his own right, which pushes Vettel to the absolute limit. Although Vettel outqualified Webber the majority of times last season the margins were often very small.

Critically, both drivers showed last season on a number of occasions that they have what it takes to dominate a race weekend; Vettel did it in Silverstone and Suzuka particularly while Webber was untouchable at the Nurburgring. This will be vital this year if they are to press home any competitive advantage they may enjoy and bring home the championship.

Although Vettel also made some expensive mistakes last season, which cost him a shot at the title, he was the more consistent of the two. He is expected to grow as a driver from these experiences and we should see a relentlessly strong Vettel, a real competitor for the Hamiltons, Alonsos and Schumachers of this world. And this has to be the year when Webber adds consistency to his list of attributes. Somehow it is a quality he has struggled to show in F1. With a car capable of winning races, he has to find a way to rack up big points every weekend, regardless of what his team mate is doing.

Picture 8
The car looks very impressive; sculpted, toned and well-developed with a sensational front wing. Last year’s car was the fastest car built to the spirit of the regulations (ie no double diffuser) and the team did extremely well to incorporate quickly the double diffuser into its design and make their car the pace setter. But it wasn’t perfect; Newey decided not to change the gearbox or suspension and fitted the updated diffuser around them. This year the rear end of the car has been designed around the double diffuser and knowing Newey it will be an extreme interpretation.

Although the team lost some valuable development time last Autumn when they thought there might be a chance of getting a Mercedes engine, they have a potential advantage this year in that the Renault is the most fuel efficient engine in the field, although it is apparently quite close with the Mercedes. This will help them on lap times in the sense that they will have to carry less fuel to cover the race distance than their competitors. If the front of the field is tight, it could make a difference. Against that the Renault gives something away in outright power to the Mercedes, but this did not seem to hamper Red Bull’s competitiveness much last season.

This year there is a premium on preserving the tyres and this is one area where the Red Bull car will need to have improved from last season. In comparison with the Brawn it was a little harder on its tyres, which helped in getting the raw pace in qualifying, but this year will not be helpful on long runs with a heavy fuel load.

They say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery and Newey admitted satisfaction at seeing many teams emulating his ideas from last season. But that smile on his face will only last as long as his car stays in front.

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105 Comments
  1. Andy W says:

    I think the Renault engine in the back is possibly going to be the weak link for Red Bull, yes it maybe slightly less thirsty but will it be reliable? Also how much will Renault be prepared to ‘develop’ it over the season?

    As for the drivers, it will be interesting to see how Webber fairs this season coming into it in the peak of health rather than recovering from a bad injury as he was last season.

    1. juan says:

      There’s a freeze on engine development dude.

      1. Andy W says:

        They are still able to make improvements for ‘reliability’ and I think efficiency, and in past seasons these improvements have made small but significant differences to ‘frozen engine development’ so I fail to see why this season should be any different.

    2. Freespeech says:

      If Webber doesn’t really shine and at least match Vettel it’ll be goodbye Mark and Hello Kimi

    3. anti feminista. says:

      engine development is forbidden, so if the engine is behind, they won’t be the benchmark.

    4. f1AEROvirgin says:

      *vote for bringing James(Jimmy)Allen to the BBC, vote to bring back real F1 commentary and debate…along side good ol’ Martin (McFly) Brundle.

      because at the mo………….
      it’s life Jim, but not as we know it!

      1. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

        Yes please. I am dreading Legard for when I get back to England. The BBC are to ashamed to admit that they got it all wrong – plus he’s been knocking around the BBC almost as long as Alan Yentob.

        I mean, Legard seems like a nice enough guy but I’m not interested in going round to his house for a cup of Earl Grey and a slice of Dundee cake. I would like real commentary from those with real knowledge and real passion.

        Martin and James were an excellent combination and my passion for F1 grew throughout the noughties as a result of how much they added to the viewing experience.

      2. James D says:

        I agree actually, and I didn’t think I would.

        I’ve really started to miss James’s sometime tortured metaphors and frankly bizzare interpretations of on track distance (the length of a CD case being a particular favourite). It’s just nice to have a commentator who has a really enthusiasm and love for the sport which Legard seems to lack.

        The commentary box works well with one person who understands the technical in’s and out’s (Martin) and one superfan with infectious enthusiasm (James)

        I’d be all for bringing James back, but the BBC would never admit to their error. Getting rid of Louise was probably a big mistake too, although I do like Jake Humphries.

      3. Andy W says:

        Agreed, Sorry Legard just ain’t upto the job.

      4. Jon Wilde says:

        James,

        Would you actually be interested in returning to the commentary box? The Big British Castle F1 package would be complete with the addition of your good self.

        Having said that I guess it could spell the end of this website, so maybe it’s not such a good idea.

      5. Freespeech says:

        Klingon to your thoughts mate :)

        James and Martin were a superb team and much better than what we have via the BBC at present.
        This said if James were on the TV this blog wouldn’t exist :!:

      6. Andy W says:

        Frankly I would rather have his commentary than these blogs, but I wouldn’t be surprised if James could still do the blogs and work for the BBC.

        If not I would like to hear Croft and Brundle partner up, please just no more buffoonishness… I want someone who knows at least as much as myself about how to read races (and remember things like pit stops) and someone who cares about the sport.

  2. Frankie Allen says:

    Bang goes the only possibility of all this years cars not looking like the RB5. Very impressed with what Newey did last season, I wonder how much he can improve upon that?

  3. Racehound says:

    sorry James….i reckon RBR will be lucky to get 4th in this years constructors! RBR like McLaren were 2 of the few teams that kept pushing development right up to the end of last season, so whos surprised the ended up with a quick car? Not me! And the 6 is an “evolution” of the 5….whereas Ferrari and Renault ahve built new cars! Anyway, time will tell, but i have a hunch RB and McLaren will struggle early season. #:)

    1. Segedunum says:

      I’ll be shocked if they haven’t got themselves a winner there and they didn’t carry on where they left off last season.

      Look at the packaging of that thing! Where’s the fuel tank? Every other team has had to compromise in some way but the RB from the front has the same lines as the 2009 car.

      As for the Renault engine, it was reliable enough last season towards the end (I suspect packaging and cooling was at a premium), it’s fuel efficient and other teams can’t use KERS to make up for their lack of speed in certain areas.

    2. Segedunum says:

      Yep, Ferrari and McLaren have new cars – because they were a long way behind last season. The regulations are largely the same for this season so Red Bull are sensible to have continuity.

      What was fast least season will be fast this season.

    3. madjon88 says:

      Your point about RBR loosing out because their car is an evolution of their car last year doesnt make sense to me. Surely if you have the quickest car, then your evolution comes from a great base line. Renault and Ferrari built new cars as you put it, because their cars last year were pretty poor,and if you went the wrong direction last year, you are not going to carry in that direction the next year. Although RBR pushed hard on development last year, surely because there car is an evolution that would imply that most of those developments will be relevant this year.

    4. Freespeech says:

      Lewis is the man to be so long as McLaren get it at least nearly right

    5. Matt says:

      “whereas Ferrari and Renault have built new cars”

      Designed largley around what they know about the 09 RBR.

      With the double defuser now properly incorporated into the design the car will be as quick as heck you can be assured of that.

      Whether it’s number one is still to be seen.

      (‘..and Renault…’ :) )

      Making up the numbers I’d say.

      1. Racehound says:

        no! designed around what they now know about incorporating modified diffusers! Honda(soon to be Brawn), RBR, Toyota and Wallys were allowed a “different interpretation” to the 09 regulations by the FIA, because the FIA already knew Honda and Toyota were thinking of leaving, and Wallys were in dire financial need at the time! Ferrari and McL didnt get the same “interpretation of the technical regs” ,so thats why they were clueless about the double diffuser. The advantage it gave Jenson is now clear for all to see, so its a mute point to argue that some cars had a distinct advantage early in 2009. #:)

      2. Matt says:

        RBR didn’t run a double defuser until Monaco.

        Once they’d developed it (after it was clear they where not going to be outlawed) the car was the fastest on the grid, even with a less than ideal rear setup.

        Now it’s been fully developed.

      3. madjon88 says:

        Hmm, I think you may have gotten your facts wrong a bit there, saying that RBR started with an advantage with the double diffuser is untrue, especially as they appealed against the legality of them, so im not sure what your point is….

    6. Zobra Wambleska says:

      The main reason Ferrari and Renault didn’t do an evolution of last years designs is because their cars were crap compared to RB. It’s hard to evolve a bad design into something of championship caliber.

    7. Med says:

      Ferrari and Renault had sh## cars last year, so they pretty much had to build new cars; RBR’s car was fundamentally sound, so why change more than they need to? Better to optimise the package to fully exploit the diffuser and what they learnt last year than to start from scratch and risk ballsing it up

  4. Tifosi says:

    I don’t see redbull good enough to challenge and win any titles this season. I really don’t know where they are getting all this hype from, sure they were good last year, but brawn was better. And before 2009 their cars were running in mid-field every year.

    They might win a race or two but I don’t think they will challenge for the tittle. There drivers are also weaker than Ferrari/Mclaren maybe even Mercedes drivers.

    They been in F1 since 2005 and so far only had 6 wins. Where is this hype coming from???

    1. Stevie P says:

      Newey designs fast cars – period; the reg changes in ’09 gave him the opportunity to “spread his wings” (on design) hence why so many cars in ’10 are using RBR-esque design-tweaks. None of them, look like last years Brawn do they?

      RBR made strategy mistakes last season and their drivers messed up more than Brawn’s did… which masked the fact their car was faster, way before seasons end… thus it makes sense (as less reg changes this year) that the ’6 will be title favourite – at this point in time!

    2. Carl says:

      Surely one could say the something similar for Brawn/Mercedes, in the guise of BAR and Honda they had been around for ever and never really challenged. They had 1 win until last season.

    3. A.K. says:

      You answered it yourself. The 6 wins last year even though it’s closest competitor Brawn had a 4 or 5 race head start with the double diffuser.

    4. Andy C says:

      I personally think the driver pairing is strong. Vettel has been linked a lot with the other big teams and Webber I think is a decent fighter.

      Yes last year was the first year they really had a very good car, but this is Adrian Newey we’re talking about. Nobody ever went to a team and put out a fast car in year 1.

      The infrastructure is just as important as person on the end of the mouse.

      The hype? Why is it hype when a lot of the F1 community are saying it is Redbull that they are thinking will be fast.

      The reason they did not win the championship is that Brawn had the double diffuser from the start of the season.

      Newey pulled off a quick, compromised job on a double diffuser last year and they were the quickest car (or in the top 2) for the majority (2/3) of last season.

      Me thinks your username implies a lack of objectivity when discussing non Ferrari matters.

      1. Tifosi says:

        Red Bull driver combo of Webber/Vettel can’t match the likes of Alonso/Massa & Hamilton/Button. Both Vettel/Webber made too many mistakes than Button and that’s the reason why they didn’t win the title. The car was good enough but the drivers weren’t.

        Not to mention both Ferrari/Mclaren are big teams with big budgets, Red Bull can’t compete with that for too long no matter how good/smart Newey is.

        We saw last season what a big team like Mclaren can do, they managed to out-develop everyone by 2 seconds during the whole year, eventually out-pacing the red bulls in many races.

        Red Bull as a team are to small to fight it out year after year with the big teams. I totally expect another Ferrari/Mclaren shown down this year while the Red Bull will fight it out with Mercedes for 3rd/4th place.

        And just because I am a Ferrari fan doesn’t mean I lack objectivity, I simply look at the facts and the facts are Red Bull has been a mid-field team since they started in F1. Newey also has not a title in nearly 10 years.

        2009 was a freak results in terms of big teams screwing up and backmarkers and mid field teams doing a better job than the big teams. This won’t happen again, unless there is another big rule change coming up.

      2. ahlapski says:

        I think you are wrong, very wrong … surely RBR is going to be up there with the rest of them. RBR is the strongest team at the end of last season. There is no need to design a new car. And if you still have not noticed; most of the so call new cars on the grid copied something off the RB5. Surely this is saying something, isn’t it ??

        Dare I say it, even the NEW F10 looks like a cousin of the GREAT RB5 … Ha Ha. Say no more.

        What do you think, James ??

      3. Tom says:

        “RBR is the strongest team at the end of last season. There is no need to design a new car.”

        Er…what? You can’t just bolt a bigger fuel tank to an RB5 and expect it to be quick.

    5. Bindi_B says:

      They have only had 6 wins since 2005? Thats great going! Look at how many teams go for years and years without a win, even the big name manufacturers who have entered over recent years have struggled!

      I must agreed though, I am not sure if last year was a one off… time will tell!

      1. Tifosi says:

        Sure 6 wins since 2005 is not bad by any means but it’s not title wining material. And I agree with Red Bull doing much better than many big manufacturers, the likes of BMW, Honda & Toyota.

        Red Bull is no where near a bad team but they also are no where near Ferrari/Mclaren. So dreaming about 2nd year in a row title challenge is highly unlikely.

      2. danish Hanif says:

        i am alonso supporter and i believe that vettal is the only threat to his future title to me he is the second best, and i am sure he has learn lessons from his expensive mistakes. in 2008 he look young but at the end of last season thu he is still young but look far more muture then other of his age.

        Redbull did a great job last year and hope the ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes & Redbul are even closer this year so we will know at the end 2010 who is the best driver of lot.

        my prediction is as follow;

        1. ALO
        2. VET
        3. SCU
        4. HIM
        5. MAS

      3. Freespeech says:

        Who’s HIM :?:

    6. machista says:

      As per drivers i think redbull have a far from perfect pairing.

      As for car/aero design, 2009 was Ross’ year as his team came up with the single most pace defining original idea, the DDD.

      Newey came up with the best overall design though. Proof is almost all teams have designed a RB5 MkII for 2010.

      On the other hand a DDD should be easily improved, specially if you design the back of the new car around it.

      Don’t discard the RB6 just yet.

  5. Richie says:

    Looks the job. Is this years car still bucking the trend by using pull rod suspension?

    1. Phil Parker says:

      Yes they have…

      “AN: We’ve stuck with the pull rod. Obviously with a single diffuser, I think the pull rod is a very elegant solution. But with a double diffuser it is a bit more difficult. There are far more pros and cons – but we felt overall that it was still a good solution.”

    2. Ambient Sheep says:

      According to a Q&A with Adrian Newey that’s been issued, it still has the pull-rod suspension, and the same chassis apparently (whatever that means in F1 terms).

      1. machista says:

        in fact i read that he went for pull-rod as it was already there and it was a good solution for single diffusers (off the top of my head quote though)

        Sounds like he had to compromise somehow.

      2. Racehound says:

        yes they have. he says “There are far more pros and cons-but we felt overall that it was still a good solution”. So obviously they have compromised somewhere, whereas the new cars are designed with no compromise this year as far as the double fartbox is concerned. What was learnt from early last season will be far better incorporated into this years cars built from scratch, than last years “evolution” cars. Still, only time will tell, I dont have a crystal ball! #:)

    3. Ambient Sheep says:

      Another reason he probably didn’t want to switch back to push-rod suspension this year, is that next year the double-diffusers are banned again, so pull-rod will be a definite advantage.

      So if it’s not actively a disadvantage with a double-diffuser (which it sounds like it’s not, just nothing in it either way), then you might as well keep it on for continuity’s sake, getting to know its characteristics even better for next year.

      1. Richie says:

        Yeah that’s very true. Will be interesting to see next year if any of the competition go the pull rod route.

      2. Racehound says:

        good point but its still a compromise. Its the double fartbox that gives such a huge advantage, not the suspension type, so opting for pullrod says design limitation for a modified car. New cars have the scope for design expansion, so im guessing the new cars will perform better. #:)

  6. SplinterBoy says:

    Ahh, the car we’ve all been waiting for! Looks can be deceptive, but if this is as quick as the pictures of beauty show above & what many of us think then people might wanna follow me in backing them with the bookies to win the constructors title at 4/1……(4th in list according to them behind Fer, Mc & Merc)

  7. Tim Parry says:

    From what I’ve seen, it still is a very sexy beast.

    1. Freespeech says:

      Sexy :?: Me thinks you need to get out more :)

    2. anti feminista. says:

      yes it is when driven hard.
      The wider nose version even better than the thin one.
      The early version die cast, webber, 1-18 is out, and its selling like warm bread.

  8. Phil says:

    Webber did a pretty good job in Brazil also as I recall, though most people weren’t looking at him that day.

    1. Matt says:

      Which is a great shame…

      Controlled the race on a drivers track.

    2. Brock says:

      Yea, he did a good job of running Kimi off the road so he could cruise to an easy victory lol

      The weather in qualifying played a big part in the results of that race.

  9. Carl says:

    I have conflicting reports on the Red Bull. One stating that they turned to a push rod setup this year to fit the defuser and one saying they were able to keep the existing pull rode system.

    James can you shed any light on this?

    What advantage might they have lost in going back to a push rod system?

    1. henry says:

      Can someone please explain to me what the differences between the two systems are? thank you!

    2. Nico says:

      No need to ask James, just look at the pictures. The rear suspension is a pull rod setup.

      For a pushrod setup the damper would be mounted near the top of the gearbox, forcing the rear bodywork up or creating the moulded bulges we see on some other cars.

      Staying pullrod means less space for the diffuser, but a much tighter bodywork over the rear end and a more effective beam wing.

      To be honest I am surprised at this move. If he has managed to package a competitive diffuser in there this thing will be a rocket.

  10. Nicollers says:

    If Red Bull can improve on last season’s performances, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes should be very afraid!

    1. Freespeech says:

      People should understand by the very nature of F1 those behind can always improve more than those in front.
      Ferrari and McLaren would have learnt from both their cars last year as well as seeing how other designs faired, which is why so many are taking the RedBull line.
      The biggest looser to my mind is Brawn who only won last year because the FIA wanted a fairytale and allowed them to use their double diffuser, this was a massive advantage which allowed a good driver to soundly beat time after time far better and faster drivers.
      Last year was Mosley’s last chance (I HOPE) to force his will as he wanted,can anyone here imagine how he would have felt if McLaren had won again :?:

      1. Nicollers says:

        “The biggest looser to my mind is Brawn who only won last year because the FIA wanted a fairytale and allowed them to use their double diffuser”

        Sorry mate, but that is complete and utter garbage. If the FIA wanted a fairytale winner, why didn’t they pick Force India? 3 teams took a gamble with the DD, and it paid off.

        Rules is rules, and if you use them to your advantage then you’re more likely to succeed.

  11. A.K. says:

    It looks like reliability is still an issue: Webber had to stop at Jerez due to an oil leak.

    1. Racehound says:

      last night i read it was an engine failure, but before that it was an oil leak!? #:)

  12. Jasper says:

    The RB5 and RB6 kind of remind me of the 1991 and 1992 Williams, which were also designed by Newey. The 1991 car was quick but just missed out on the title, very similar to last years RB5. And then the 1992 car came along, which looked very similar to the previous years car in the same way that the RB6 looks like the RB5, and it blitzed the 1992 season. I sincerely hope that this pattern doesn’t repeat itself and Red Bull does the same. Don’t underestimate this car, they’re not just gonna suddenly drop off the pace after a strong end to 2009. But here’s hoping for a close 2010 season, Mercedes v Red Bull v McLaren v Ferrari

    1. ahlapski says:

      Totally agreed…. this is going to be a vintage season. Can’t wait.

  13. Freespeech says:

    Well it look nothing special does it :?: Can’t agree that RedBull are favourites, if I had to pick a team who are most likely to be it’d be Ferrari as they started on their car first, hope I’m wrong as I’m a McLaren man :)

  14. ginello says:

    It stopped on the middle of the track today.
    for a start, not too bad.

  15. Craig says:

    Yes, Newey said they are. Surprised me a little that did. Yes, pullrod will give better CoG but will result in less space for a large multi-deck diffuser like I hear McLaren have. Clearly Newey wanted to evolve what they had. After all it worked well last year even in compromised form. And knowing him he’ll have found a way to still enable a high performance diffuser.

  16. Adam says:

    Sure ,this years Red Bull isn’t looking radically different from last years.

    That doesn’t mean to say Newey will not have incorporated clever tricks under the hood.

  17. Brace says:

    I think Newey’s cars always have some reliability issues. I mean, last year, Renault engine only ended Red Bull’s races. I might be wrong, but I don’t remember Renaults retiring with engine failure. Also, all those McLarens that Newey built. Those were the most fragile cars in the history of F1.

    1. Zobra Wambleska says:

      I think it’s generally accepted that the old Lotuses were probably the most fragile of all F1 cars. Colin Chapman always cut the meat to the very bone.

    2. Knuckles says:

      The most fragile cars in the history of F1? You must be joking.

    3. anti feminista. says:

      no quite. The most fragile were champman’s lotus. But the good cars use to be on the limit, so, easy to brake.
      Champman used to say, the perfect racing car is the one that after winning a race falls apart.

    4. Racehound says:

      yeah!..i remember in 94 when he had some steering problem with 1 of his cars!!! #:/

    5. Segedunum says:

      Not really. A lot of McLaren’s problems came from the Mercedes engines.

  18. Pawel says:

    To me RBR are in position to win 2010 constructors championship: they changed chassis to rebuild and improve double diffusor, have got Renault fuel-saving engine, engine cover seems to provide low centre of gravity and are oversighted by Andrian Newey…

  19. Akina86 says:

    Hi James,

    Just an idea….since there is no refueling allowed this year…. is there anything in the regulations that says fuel can or can’t be taken out of the car? (ie..in the situation when there are yellow flag laps…. then the car would not need as many laps to go to the end and can benefit from a lighter car?)

    aki

  20. Guy says:

    Something I dont understand.

    If a care has a minumum weight of X. The driver would weigh lets say y. The total weight of the car = X + y. Now if I remember correctly Mark’s weight is at least 1okg greater than Seb’s or they build a slightly lighter car if it is the combined weight that has a minumum. That would mean less placed balast for Mark. Does that not have a value in terms of ultimate laptimes? Maybe Mark if he had the same jockey weight would be quicker?

    1. Jeffrey says:

      This has been a problem before actually. Kubica always complained that being a taller and heavier driver than Heidfeld, he was at a disadvantage. He had less possibility to shift ballast around and thereby improve the balance of the car. There has been discussion if the weight should be determined by the car without driver, but I guess they stuck to the old system. So yes, lighter drivers (Massa being the lightest I think) have an advantage in this respect.

    2. Stu says:

      They will build all their cars as light as they can and then bring the car + driver weight up to the minimum with ballast.

      Maybe someone else has a better idea how much a car without driver and ballast weighs but at a guess I’d say it was somewhere around 400KGs.

    3. Ross Dixon says:

      Thats why the min weight of car and driver was increased to 620 kg (I think) from 605KG less of an affect. So now all drivers should have enough ballast to do what they need with it.

    4. Knuckles says:

      In 2010 the minimum weight is 620 kg for car and driver together. The car weight alone is not measured AFAIK. Yes, this means that a driver that weighs 20 kg more has 20 kg less ballast to play with. It’s been this way for a long time.

      There have been suggestions to remove the variance of driver weight by creating a rule that driver, helmet, and seat together have to weigh a certain amount, meaning that lighter drivers would have to add more ballast to their seat. So far, nothing has come of it.

  21. Alex says:

    Horner was already moaning about how strong Merc are so I guess that he is unhappy with the engine situation.

    1. Brace says:

      Horner is moaning because he feels they missed once in a life time chance and needs someone to blame. Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari are engines that won most of the stuff in the last 20 years so I think Horner needs to show what he can do when at a head of the team.

      1. Nico says:

        You can’t really blame him though. With a Renault on parity and no diffuser loophole his car would have run away with it. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

    2. anti feminista. says:

      he must be. He has money to develop, and the rules don’t allowe it. It is behind in power, and reliability, and he knows the car must be a little better than the rest to compensate.
      i doubt it is going to be.

    3. Segedunum says:

      They would have liked to get the Merc because of the power, but, the Renault still proved good enough last season, still had enough power and it is more fuel efficient.

  22. I thought this was a very low key launch and from what they were saying thought Red Bull lacked confidence in their car. I think they can come good during the season, but from today feel that they are worried they are not going to be as competitive as they would like at the start of the season.

    1. Jeffrey says:

      I think they are trying to downplay their role as favorites, as it only means pressure. And I think Red Bull still has problems keeping reliability in check (as we’ve seen today), so this might be a worry for them.

      And James, what wondered me was that they stopped dead on the track with an oil leak and actually had to take out the whole engine. But doesn’t an oil leak show up on the telemetry? And couldn’t they have send him into the pits the moment they noticed a problem, or could it be so sudden that this wouldn’t work? Any idea James?

      1. Dave says:

        From the reports it mentions that once the problem was noticed Webber shut down the engine as a precautionary measure….it was a simple component that failed – you aren’t exactly going to risk an oil fire on a car you have launched only a few hours earlier are you??

    2. jonathan says:

      but hasnt most the launches been low profile

      1. The launch of Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes was much more high profile compared to the traditionally more flamboyant and showy Red Bull. The quietness of their launch was conspicuous – are they just being more serious now or are they a bit worried?

      2. Jeffrey says:

        Maybe they’re just feeling the ‘crisis’ as well, and want to spend their money on improving the car and reliability, instead on fancy launches. They’ve proven their point that they are serious contenders already last year, so they don’t have to beat the drum so much anymore…

  23. Ginger says:

    Just viewed the article on my phone, it looks good and I’m sure it will be quick. I expect a strong season from Webber. Last year he didn’t test and was not 100% for a few races. Vettel whilst being very talented is strong from pole and makes too many mistakes. Last time I looked Webber was 14-1, I fancy a few quid on that.

    1. Racehound says:

      old proverb…”A fool and his money are soon parted”………..#:)

  24. Eric Weinraub says:

    I see the car being very good. They have very good drivers…me thinks Weber a tad over rated…Vetel is the REAL deal… The lump in the back worries me… No engine equalization and down on HP.. sure they get better mileage which means less fuel…BUT… will that translate to the speed needed. I don’t think so

  25. Betbotpro says:

    Judging by the photos at redbulls opening i would say Mark Webber looks amazingly fit compared to Vittel, who honestly looks a bit on the plump side, but that maybe his hat playing tricks on my eyes.

    Every one bigs Vettel up, but Webber last year wasnt far off, this year he could be right on it by the looks of his training results.

  26. Dean Coulter says:

    I’ve been wondering about the cars and various wheelbase lengths we’ve seen, mostly due to fuel tank sizes, and other layout designs.

    It was a major talking point in 2007 after McLaren utterly dominated the 2007 Monaco GP. Many people talking about Ferrari being a longer wheelbase car and being quicker on the fast corners, whilst McLaren’s shorter wheelbase allowed them to dominate races like Monaco and Montreal.

    So again, I’m wondering will we see teams like Renault who appear to have a much shorter wheelbase looking very quick around places like the streets of Monaco.

    1. Carl says:

      would love to see some stats on the current cars as to their wheelbases.

      This year the Ferrari looks shorter than the Maclaren.

      1. Segedunum says:

        Nope, it’s waaaaay longer.

  27. Spenny says:

    In the Newey Q&A on the F1 site, he mentions that the car is designed around Webber, as it is then trivial to fit in a smaller driver – Mr V.

    At McLaren, they presumably had the car designed before Jenson was signed and he is taller than Lewis – not sure about HK.

    He had comfort problems on day 1.

    Is there an issue there for McLaren?

    1. Racehound says:

      yes!!! #:)

  28. anti feminista. says:

    James, the guys don’t seem to agree with you this time. Just because they ended the last season as the best car, don’t seem to convince the mayority.
    I think like the la rosa said, after what we saw at the valencia tests, massa and alonso are the favourites, hamilton and then schumacher. Rbr still too early to see.

  29. SHIPARCH says:

    I really do think last year was a one off for RB and we’ve seen that tends to happen in F1. I’m really hoping for a strong RB to challenge but there is no way they’ll win either titles, there will always be stronger teams as a whole. Vettel is a strong driver but he’s still making many mistakes that drivers such as Alonso, Schumacher and Hamilton wont make and Webber is just… Webber nothing much to talk about.

  30. LoudHoward says:

    They’ll be there or there abouts. To be fair, they only have to make a small step to be at the pointy end, they won the last 3 GPs of ’09 so the car was great. The aero is obviously very good, and they seemed to make good progress with the suspension at the end of the season, the Singapore update seemed to transform the car.

    The drivers seem to work together well and go in a similar direction with setup, they obviously don’t like being beaten by the other but get over it within 30 mins or so. No settling in time for either of them, Sebvet will have more experience and Mark will be a lot fitter this season.

    The engine is probably the weak link, but Renault seem to be working on it.

    I think the pull-rod is a good idea, if the diffuser loophole is closed for next year RBR will have 2 years of experience with what appears to be the optimal ‘single’ diffuser solution.

  31. Silverstoned says:

    Vettel and RBR had an open invitation from Jens to take the title last year. They didn’t take it. You don’t get a repeat invite in F1.

    Raikkonen tips Vettel for this year, but I’m not so sure.

    As for Webber, he did well against Jens in AbuD, but was lucky not to be penalised for his tactics in earlier races. He should be really flattered with what James has written here!

  32. Brace says:

    From what we have seen so far, it could hardly be described as “Red Bull charge out as favourites”. :)

  33. ginello says:

    If I’m not wrong, the last time a Newey’s car won something worth mentioning was in 1999.
    Maybe this is about time to add another trophy, but that says a lot about Newey winning cars of lately.

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