Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has heaped praise on his drivers following the launch of the team’s new car, the RB11, in Jerez today.
Bucking the trend of recent years, Red Bull will conduct all three pre-season tests using an eyecatching camouflage livery, with the black and white design intended to make it harder for other teams to analyze.
For the first time since 2008, the team enters the new season without Sebastian Vettel as a driver, with the four-time world champion leaving Milton Keynes at the end of last year in favor of a move to Ferrari.
He has been replaced by former Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat, who alongside Daniel Ricciardo forms a very exciting line-up in Horner’s eyes.
“It’s an exciting and dynamic line-up,” he said following the launch of the new car. “We know the quality of Daniel following his performances last year and in Daniil we have an outstanding talent. The speed, commitment and determination he demonstrated were all the qualities we’re looking for.
“We’ve already seen what Daniel is capable of and we firmly believe that Dany has all the same attributes. They’re young, hungry, they’re incredibly quick and I think they are going to push each other very hard throughout the year.”
Ricciardo was the breakthrough star of the 2014 season, claiming three race wins en route to third place in the championship, but the Australian is hoping that he can build on this to give the Mercedes drivers a stiffer challenge in 2015.
“I’m looking forward to driving the RB11 and I’m hanging out to get behind the wheel again,” Ricciardo said. “I hope it’s going to be a beast. We’ll soon find out.
“There was plenty of pressure on me last year to prove myself in a top team and I think everyone knows now what I’m capable of so I’m excited – excited to build on what we achieved in 2014 and ready to give Mercedes a good fight.”
With just one year of F1 racing under his belt, Kvyat’s promotion into a seat with a world champion team has been a swift one. However, the Russian is not setting himself any firm targets for the season ahead, preferring to see how pre-season testing goes first.
“It’s going to be very exciting to drive an Infiniti Red Bull Racing car for the first time for me,” Kvyat said. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me and I’m really looking forward to finally getting into the car. It’s going to be cool.
“Though many people in the team know me quite well, there is still the challenge of entering a new team for myself. However, I haven’t really set any targets for 2015. I just want to keep doing the best job possible with hard work and the right attitude and that’s the best thing I can do.”