2013 Infiniti Red Bull Racing's RB9 Has Tough Act To Follow | Edmunds

2013 Infiniti Red Bull Racing's RB9 Has Tough Act To Follow

Just the Facts:
  • The Infiniti Red Bull Racing's RB9 was unveiled on Sunday, featuring a new livery but an evolutionary design.
  • Infiniti Red Bull Racing became the sixth Formula 1 team to reveal its 2013 car.
  • The RB9, like its predecessors, is the product of design guru Adrian Newey.

MILTON KEYNES, England — With most of the top challengers having already revealed their 2013 racing equipment, triple-reigning Formula 1 champion Infiniti Red Bull Racing showed its new RB9 at its headquarters Sunday.

Ferrari, runner-up in driver and constructor points last year, showed its new car Friday while McLaren Mercedes, third among the teams last year, had the first live launch on Thursday. Lotus, fourth as a team and boasting the No. 3 driver last year, used an Internet broadcast to unveil its new car on January 28.

The new RB9 is like the other vehicles that will appear on the grid this year in that it has been prevented by mostly static F1 rules from being dramatically revised. According to its designer, the legendary aerodynamics specialist Adrian Newey, it is "evolutionary."

"It is increasingly difficult [to make changes] because there are no real regulations changes compared to this year and it will be the fifth season since the 2009 rule changes," Newey told Autosport magazine.

Last year's RB8 did not make it to the top of the podium until the fourth race of the season, as rivals McLaren Mercedes and Ferrari won the first two rounds and Mercedes scored its first victory in its new incarnation in the third race.

It was a year-long fight with Ferrari before Sebastian Vettel clinched his third straight driving title and Red Bull its third constructor championship in a row in the final race of the year.

This year's car will be recognizable not because of changes in its design, but rather in its color. The purple of primary sponsor Infiniti is prominent, crowding out the traditional red, blue and yellow of the energy drink brand that owns the team.

Yet to be determined is how the new car will fare in its pace in comparison to the other contenders. The first of three preseason test sessions begins Tuesday at Jerez, Spain.

Junior team Scuderia Toro Rosso and Mercedes were scheduled to unveil their cars today and Caterham's launch is set for Tuesday.

Sauber unveiled its new car Saturday, but the incremental technical changes in the vehicle took a backseat to an all-new driver lineup. Nico Hulkenberg comes in from Force India and Esteban Gutierrez is promoted from test driver, replacing Sergio Perez, who moved to Mercedes, and Kamui Kobayashi, who was released.

Edmunds says: First look at the new equipment is always exciting for F1 fans, even when there are no significant changes in the designs. Testing will whet appetites even more for the approach of the new season March 17 in Melbourne, Australia.

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