The RB5 was released into the wild today, with Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel in attendance at Jerez. The car was released ahead of the test this week at the Spanish track, and the drivers were ready to pull the covers off first thing on Monday morning.
Vettel was eager to get going, as he would take the car for it's first outing on the track, whilst Webber was looking decidedly wobbly. Having worked so hard on recovering from the broken leg he sustained in November, Webber was walking without crutches, but limping slightly. He is due to be back in the car on Wednesday, and we are all hoping he is up to strength and not pushing himself too hard.
Adrian Newey is the brains behind the design this year, and he's making full advantage of the changes to introduce some new concepts. The nose is much slimmer than the other cars that have already been launched, and the front wing has much more to it than their competitors. The new car also features an updated engine, as Renault were given special dispensation by the FIA to upgrade the motor, after falling behind on power in 2008. Apparently all the teams agreed to this, so Renault, and therefore Red Bull, are not being favoured in any particular way.
The team are feeling very positive about the changes and the upcoming season, with Team Principal Christian Horner confident that they can achieve a win. With Sebastian Vettel on board, it's important that they can improve and hopefully outshine their sister team. Toro Rosso beat Red Bull easily last year, and it must have been slightly embarrassing for the bosses.
Horner also believes that the vast change in regulations will cause a lot of field spread in the early races, with those that have gone the right way, and those that need to think again. Once teams can see what's working and what isn't out on track, though, things will begin to close up once again. Horner reckons that once development begins again mid-season, then the championship could close up nicely, and the competition could be fierce. We certainly hope so.