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Red Bull RB9 an evolution - Newey
Red Bull technical director Adrian Newey says the new RB9 is very much an evolution of last year's championship-winning RB8.
Towards the end of last year Red Bull mastered the 2012 exhaust regulations and won four consecutive races between Singapore and India, in a season that had previously been wide open. With the regulations remaining very similar for 2013, Newey said the team had continued to develop many of the concepts on the RB8 over the winter and reckons the biggest challenge will be getting used to the 2013 Pirelli tyres.
"It's an evolutionary car as you might imagine; no big regulation changes over the winter," he said. "Probably perhaps the most significant change is not the regulations but it's the new Pirelli tyres. We had a quick test of those in FP1 in Brazil but it was a very green track, a very hot track, so in truth we didn't learn a lot. Of course Pirelli's supplied us data as to how the tyres behave from their point of view but past experience says it's only when you get out testing that you can really find out about them.
"It's really been [about] refining RB8 so no huge changes; it's very much an evolutionary car. As I say there's no big regulation changes - the front wing stiffness test has been harshened further so that makes it actually quite difficult to comply now just in terms of how stiff the wing has to be. The rest of the car is very much an evolutionary car so as you can see all the principles that were taken from last year's but hopefully it's evolved a lot."
Asked where Red Bull had found the biggest gain, he said: "Really in the details. The devil has very much been in the detail with this car, so it's difficult to give a 'we've got this or that', it's very much an evolutionary car. We've tightened up some bits that we felt could be improved on. It's the usual thing of course that the car's in transition as are all these cars these days. Development will be key through the year; there'll be one or two new parts coming for the first race - which I'm sure will be the same for everybody else as well - and then it will be how we can evolve it until the end."
After Sebastian Vettel's title defence went down to the very last round in 2012, Newey admitted Red Bull had been up against it to produce the car on time.
"I think this is actually a tribute to the work of all the guys over the winter because we actually had a very tight championship battle last year and it was difficult trying to develop last year's car and trying to do the research in to this year's car. I have to admit some of that research did suffer in the championship battle and obviously it worked for us but it gave us a very tight timeframe to design and manufacture this car and to actually have it here today - two days before the first test - is an absolutely remarkable achievement by the guys."