Red Bull RB9 may not appear at first test

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Red Bull will decide next week if their new car will appear at the first test of 2013.


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Title wins affecting 2013 plans – Newey (BBC)

“Red Bull told BBC Sport that they would confirm next week whether the 2013 car would be ready in time for the first pre-season test, which starts on February 5th at Jerez in Spain.”

Damon Hill shielded his son from F1, now he wants to get him in it (London Evening Standards)

“The reality is that motorsport is still dangerous. But I wouldn’t want to deny any of my children the chance of discovering or learning about risk. Life is a risk and you have to learn to be aware of the risks. If you’re not prepared for the risks, that’s more dangerous.”

Hill: Hamilton can become a leader (Autosport)

“When I went to another team I was seen as a leader, so maybe it’s easier to take on that role once they’re looking to you to give them some direction. Lewis might learn that, he might find that in himself. We don’t know, but put in that situation he might find it.”

Lauda leaves airline to focus on Mercedes role (Reuters)

“Retired triple Formula One champion Niki Lauda has left the board of Air Berlin so he can devote more time to his new role with Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes Formula One team, the airline said on Thursday.”


Comment of the day

@Nackavich’s reaction to the new restrictions on using DRS during practice and qualifying:

That’s a shame about the use of DRS in practice. I completely understand the need for the rule as it concerns safety, but I have tickets for the Waite stand at the Australian Grand Prix and was looking forward to watching the drivers get out of shape opening the DRS over the kerbs and slippery Astroturf on the exit of turn 12. Oh well.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Anne Lambert!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Two years ago today Ferrari dropped Chris Dyer as a consequence of Fernando Alonso’s last-round defeat in the drivers’ championship the year before.

Technical director Aldo Costa was was similarly shown the door after the team produced another uncompetitive car in 2011. Will anyone be made to carry the can for last year’s disappointing start to the season?

Image © Red Bull/Getty images

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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43 comments on “Red Bull RB9 may not appear at first test”

  1. Hey Keith, it’s my birthday today as well :)

    1. @timi Happy birthday to you too!

  2. Very interesting indeed. I wonder, if it turns out to be the case that they do miss the first test, how much it will comprimise the development pre-season of the car as surely they will be left to catch up in the first few rounds.

    1. I don’t think that missing out on one test will cost them too much in terms of understanding their car. However, they might think that the extra week’s worth of preparation at the factory more than makes up for any loss on the track.

      1. @demos12 True but of course that only leaves a poultry 8 days testing before Australia, which really isn’t an awful lot. I expect them to have a much better understanding of this years car than last at the seasons’ begging last year though!

        1. Didn’t stop them sweeping the championships and poles in 2010…

    2. firstLapNutcaseGrosjean (@)
      4th January 2013, 14:00

      They won’t be at the first test, because they didn’t finish to put nitro in Vettel’s car.

    3. It’s been a running theme in the past few years that RB have decided not to go to the first test, preferring instead to have an extra week at the factory.

      It’s not really hampered them in the past has it?

    4. @vettel1, I think designers like to keep their latest idea(s) a secret for as long as possible so as not to tip off the opposition .

      And ( please forgive me for asking ) besides the “modesty panel” and mystery tyres what exactly is new this year that will require a re-design rather than a refinement of the 2012 cars?

      We are now in an era of constant evolution throughout the season so it is hard to see the advantage of a completely new design unless there are major rule changes.

      1. @hohum – there isn’t anything significant, merely the banning of DDRS which Red Bull used so effectively in that “purple-patch” from Singapore to India.

        I too am not expecting them to be hugely handicapped by missing the first test but I expect it will have some effect given that means only 8 days testing before Australia (which isn’t an awful lot). Although as @raymondu999 & @dirtyscarab have said it hasn’t really hurt them in the past, so I’m not overly concerned.

        The only aspect I can see in which missing the first test may hinder them is if they choose to adopt a “Lotus-style” DRD: we saw in 2012 that such a system appears very difficult to calibrate so perhaps if that becomes the must-have innovation for 2013 then they may feel the effects of missing 4 days testing. As you have rightfully said though there are no major rule changes so I imagine the understanding of the car will not be compromised too much – it’s not as if they’re losing an EBD next year!

    5. @vettel1 It does make you panic a little but Lotus manged to do a great job this year after the disaster they had in pre-season testing in 2012. I think they will be fine as long as that’s their intention.

      1. @andrewtanner – very true and of course they have missed the first test in the past so I’m not overly worried. Although I will consequently be expecting some form of upgrade that will put them either at the front of the pack or very close to it!

        1. @Vettel1 Was it RBR who turned up with a new front wing on like the last day of pre-season testing last year? I seem to remember some team throwing a spanner in the works!

          1. @andrewtanner – that’ll be Red Bull then! ;) I too seem to remember Red Bull brining a sizeable upgrade on the last day or two, turns out it wasn’t them trying to scare the opposition – they genuinely were quite stumped! I expect they’ll start this year much stronger than the last though: I’m pretty confident they’ll be in contention for pole and the win.

  3. thatscienceguy
    4th January 2013, 0:22

    Did Chris Dyer end up with another team, or what is he up to nowadays? Anyone know?

    1. He joined BMW in the DTM.

  4. Woah, first COTD, thanks @keithcollantine I was merely having a bit of a whinge haha!
    I’ll try to share my experience of the race from my seat as best I can in the forums.

  5. “…Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes Formula One team”.

    Strange, I didn’t realize he owned an F1 team….

    Anyway, I don’t think that missing the first race will be much of a problem for Red Bull. I’m sure they’re just making it a big deal as part of the game. Every team plays it, but Red Bull play it very well.

    1. ‘missing the first race’
      I actually think that will be a very big problem for red bull

      1. +1, a bit of a typo there @polishboy808 ;)

        1. Hahaha yeah, now that might actually be a big problem! Gotta read through these things before I post em!

          1. @polishboy808 – I didn’t even notice it!

            I agree though, it probably won’t hurt them awfully as there are no major rule changes but still I expect them to perhaps be under-prepared for the first race at least relative to everyone else.

    2. @polishboy808 I thought that was one of the UK tabloids at first! Button and McLaren may as well not exist without Hamilton as far as they’re concerned. Pretty surprised at Reuters there…if the team was any drivers, surely it would be Rosberg?!

  6. On the Twitter front, I enjoyed the vacation photos Daniel Ricciardo posted today. That guy cracks me up.

    Mainly I’m just trying to keep my mind off the *remote* possibility that the RB9 might not be ready by the first test… :-/

  7. It is not the first time Red Bull have missed the first pre-season test, isn’t it?

    They missed it in 2010 as well, right?

    1. Exactly:

      Red Bull have taken a gamble by missing the first test of 2010 to work on the design of their RB6.

      They still had the best car that ultimately brought them both titles but they suffered from reliability issues quite a lot, too.

  8. I’m certain that Hamilton appreciates comparing his Mercedes move to Hill’s Arrows move.

    1. @hotbottoms That was my first thought as well! Hopefully Hamilton ain’t going to join Force India in 2014 to lose motivation and finish his career in 2015 :)

    2. Hill could’ve been talking about his move to Jordan… and the two years Hill was with Jordan were their two best years

  9. Wow, Josh Hill looks a lot like his grandfather in that picture. Damon seems quite sure of his son’s abilities as a driver. I must admit I haven’t seen much of Josh’s racing, but I didn’t think he was that good. Does anyone here think he is good enough for there to be a third-generation Hill on the F1 grid some day?

    1. I haven’t seen him drive at all, but the surname carries a lot of weight and pressure, he may not be able to handle it. Personally even though Damon is not on my list of favorites, I would like to see his son climbing race series properly and get his chance to drive.

    2. He was good in Renault 2.0 last year, although to be fair the competition wasn’t that stiff.

    3. @adrianmorse Graham made his debut at 29 and won a championship at 39, Damon made his F1 debut at 31 and won the championship at 35. At only 22 Josh Hill has plenty of time, after all he’s from a family of late bloomers.

      Maybe the 2020 season will see Hill scrapping with the likes of Perez, Maldonado and Bottas for the title (with Alonso and Schumacher making appearances as podium interviewers?).

  10. I suspect Red Bull is in more trouble than you might think. It seems their opponents are largely going for updated versions of the old cars and Red Bull seems to have started from scratch. I support that theory with the unusual early crash tests. Considering there are only 12 test days in 2013 compared to the 15 days in 2012, this might actually sting a bit more. If they do miss the first test there are only 8 days left. In testing there is always a danger that your cars might suffer from growing pains so it is not really the best option to miss that first test.

    That’s just my humble opinion though; I could be completely going in the wrong direction here.

    1. I can’t imagine RBR have started from scratch, given everyone will be starting from scratch next year, but then they had pretty much hit the ceiling with the design.

      The only breakthrough in performance late last season seemed to come from their DRS-driven aero device, which is now banned.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        4th January 2013, 16:56

        Missing the first test will affect them. Simply put, they lose time to iron out any problems and if everything’s fine, the lose out on setup time. The tyres are new so you want to put as many miles on them as possible to understand how they behave in different conditions. It could be dry for the first test and rain for the others….

        With so few testing days, losing 4 out of 12 is bad news even with a Newey heading the design team.

  11. Took a few seconds to realise the Singapore pic showed the ‘sausage kerb’ chicane.

    1. @atticus-2 Yep – turn ten. I always like seeing street circuits in their normal state.

      1. Yes, it is very interesting. I remember droving and walking around in Monaco during a summer vacation, it was an unbelievable experience.

        That ‘botanic garden’ blocking half the track, which they supposedly just move over every year certainly made T10 harder to recognise.

        1. I ‘raced’ the track a few times in ‘my’ mini one – company car – the hill up to casino needed first gear…
          But I think I negotiated Loews very fast…

      2. @keithcollantine If you want, I can take my camera and do a walk around the Albert Park Lake circuit in Melbourne, work hasn’t begun on the track yet?

  12. since RB8 is very good car, I don’t believe that would affect them. Actually, they have missed first test sometimes and still very competitive.

  13. Doesn’t really matter does it. The rules are hardly changing this season (2013) compared to last season. Wouldn’t surprise me if Red Bull started winning races from the get go. 2014 should be interesting, as a Ferrari fan I can see McLaren looking strong (as they seem keen on developing technologies for that season) and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Mercedes could do okay but completely doubt it, biggest disappointment really, all the staff and resources with only 1 won to show.

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