F1 kicked back into life earlier this week with the first official test of the season and the unveiling of most of the 2011 cars, the most significant of which was the Red Bull RB07 – the car that will defend both Sebastian Vettel's drivers title and the energy drink’s very own constructors championship. As is generally the case, Red Bull's public relations output topped the field, and many of the highly informative illustrations in the image gallery come directly from the Red Bull press materials - images explaining the new RB7 changes, the pit crew roles and responsibilities, the 2011 steering wheel, driving position ad infinitum.
The test sessions presently taking place in Valencia, Spain, herald the official start of a new Formula One campaign and Renault will supply not just the title winning Red Bull team with engines again in 2011, but the similarly named Lotus Renault GP and Team Lotus Renault. In supplying 25 per cent of the field for 2011, Renault is going back to its core activity as an engine supplier.
Red Bull's Team Principal, Christian Horner, and Chief Technical Officer, Adrian Newey, spoke to the world’s press in Valencia at the launch of our new car.
“The team’s been very focused on RB7 over the last few months; Adrian didn’t release his drawings any earlier than normal, so the whole design group and production team have done a remarkable job to produce this car in the shortest possible time,” said Christian.
He added: “It’s a long season, the longest in F1 history, and we have some great opponents, but we are very motivated and will be working hard to hold on to the two world titles. I’m sure it’s going to be a fascinating battle.
“It’s a great feeling to arrive here and roll out the car with the number one on it as the reigning World Champions, but now the challenge is to keep it.”
And it certainly will be a challenge thanks to the technical regulation changes introduced by the sport’s governing body for 2011, including the banning of double diffusers, blown rear wings and adjustable front wings, the introduction of adjustable rear wings and, of course, the return of KERS.
“The big challenge for us this year was the reintroduction of the KERS system,” confirmed Adrian.
“It’s always a challenge to find solutions, which don’t compromise the aerodynamics of the car. This season, with McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes all having KERS, we need to get it to work, simply for performance off the line.”