With the first test kicking off in Jerez, Spain today, Red Bull became the ninth and final team to launch its new car for the 2015 Formula 1 season.
The four-time world champions’ new car will take part in testing in an eyecatching black and white camouflage livery before switching to the regular Red Bull colors for the start of the season in March.
Many racing teams use a similar black and white design on their prototype cars for testing, making it more difficult to be photographed and analyzed.
Red Bull opted to maximize its development time on the new car as it looks to bounce back from a difficult 2014 campaign. Despite winning three races, the team relinquished both world titles as Mercedes dominated proceedings, prompting a number of improvements for the new RB11.
“The design of the RB11 has been very much about understanding what we learned from last season, which was a big regulation change as far as the power unit is concerned and the packaging that goes with that and setting about optimising the car from those lessons,” chief technical officer Adrian Newey explained.
One of the RB10’s biggest weaknesses was its Renault power unit, with the French manufacturer falling behind in the 2014 pre-season and never making up the gap.
However, after the collapse of Caterham and Lotus’ switch to Mercedes power, Renault now exclusively powers the Red Bull-owned teams – Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso – which team boss Christian Horner believes will be hugely beneficial.
“The relationship with Renault is a lot closer now,” he explained. “Red Bull is the only partner for Renault now, through ourselves and Toro Rosso, and that focus from Renault together with a close involvement with our design team is yielding good results and a far closer integration between the power unit and the chassis side.
“Working in unison with Renault we can really make some big steps forward this year.”
“We have been working very hard with our partners Renault to help them develop the engine,” Newey added. “What we have to remember is that the internal combustion engine and its very complicated associated items, the ERS and turbocharger, are long lead time items.Those are things where if one team takes an advantage then it takes time to overthrow that or get back on a par with or hopefully ahead.”
“Those are things where if one team takes an advantage then it takes time to overthrow that or get back on a par with or hopefully ahead.”
With Daniel Ricciardo now leading the team in the post-Vettel era, Red Bull will be hoping that an improved pre-season will put it in good stead for a title challenge in 2015. Although the gap to Mercedes is great, if the engine deficit can be made up, the team could yet fight for a fifth set of championships this year.
— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) February 1, 2015