Just 48 hours after Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s RB9 was unveiled in Milton Keynes UK, the new car took to the track at the Jerez Circuit in Spain today, at the first pre-season test of 2013.
With Mark Webber at the wheel, the RB9 completed 73 laps. Mark’s best lap of 1:19.70 was the second quickest time of the day and left the Australian greatly encouraged ahead of his seventh season with the team.
Mark said: "It was pretty good. As Adrian said at the launch, there haven’t been big changes to the regulations this year and the car is an evolution of the one we finished with last season, so there were no big surprises. I think most of the drivers will sit back tonight and think today’s times were pretty competitive.
“It was actually like a Friday practice session in some regards. We started understanding the tyres and there were a lot of positives,” he added. “There’s a bit of housekeeping we have to get on top of but, other than that, it’s been encouraging. The car feels similar to last year’s, so the main difference is the tyres. With these tyres you’re always on your toes. It was good that we had consistent temperatures today, so we got a lot of information and feedback to analyse, which is all good. Generally though, the car feels pretty good, so I’m happy.”
Commenting on the first day’s work with RB9, Engineering Co-ordinator Andy Damerum said: “We had a very good day’s running today. Being the first day of testing there’s always a few nerves when the car goes out, but we had very few problems and Mark managed to get through just over 323km of running. We were able to get through about 90% of what was on the list for today. If I recall, this time last year we couldn’t run in the morning because of fog, so this first day with the RB9 has been good. Tomorrow, we’ll just crack on with the work load, which means more aero work and getting to know the tyres more.”