Red Bull racing finally showed its 2009 RB5 “beauty” on Monday. The launch had been scheduled for around this time, but is long after most teams started on track testing.
The Red Bull racing team is extremely excited about its new RB5 and is hoping to be competitive. Although the RB5 designer, Adrian Newey, and team principal, Christian Horner, are being very realistic about the 2009 season. Both say that with the biggest rule changes in 20 years, the 2009 season is completely up for grabs. However, both also say that the difference between the best and worst performing vehicles will be greater than seen in the past.
In a normal car launch, the carmaker publishes a simple press kit available to download. The press kit features all the information on the car the team/carmaker feel needs to be given, which is obviously less in competitive racing. Red Bull however, issued a press kit comic book.
From perusing the comic book one learns the 2009 RB5 features the Renault RS27 engine that complies with all 2009 FIA specifications. The specifications include a V-8 configuration with a maximum displacement of 2.4 liters and redline of 18,000 RPM. The engine block is built from cast aluminum and is an integral structural component. The Red Bull racing KERS device is the same as seen on the Renault R29 developed by Renault and Magnetti Marelli.
The chassis is a composite monocoque type designed and built by Red Bull racing. Gear changes are handled by a longitudinally mounted seven-speed transmission with a hydraulic system for power shifting and clutch operation.
The car hit the track yesterday after its introduction with driver Sebastian Vettel behind the wheel. Vettel had no comment on the car after fourteen laps, simply saying “The guys did a fantastic job to get the here and ready for this first run. I was happy to be driving again, but don’t ask me to comment on the feel of the car as it’s far too early for that.” The practice session was ended early due to rising transmission temperatures.
Mark Webber continues the 2009 season with Red Bull Racing and Sebastian Vettel replaces David Coulthard, who retired after the 2008 season. Vettel raced for Red Bull’s Ferrari-powered Scuderia Toro Rosso team during the 2008 season where he won the 2008 Italian Grand Prix and at 21-years old, became the youngest driver to win a Formula One Grand Prix.
To check out the Red Bull comic book press kit, click here: 2009 Red Bull RB5