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Red Bull expect wins from new car

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber pose with the new Red Bull F1 car
The Red Bull was one of 2009's most eagerly anticipated new cars

Red Bull have said they expect to be in the fight for race victories in 2009 as they unveiled their new car on Monday.

Sebastian Vettel, who put the first miles on the new Renault-powered RB9 later in the day, unveiled the car alongside team-mate Mark Webber.

And team boss Christian Horner said there was "no reason" why the team could not join the fight at the front.

"The new rules present an opportunity for teams to compete on a more level playing field," Horner said.

F1 bosses have introduced major changes to the cars in an attempt to make overtaking easier and improve the quality of racing.

And Horner believes his design team, led by the highly-regarded former Williams and McLaren engineer Adrian Newey, are in a good position to capitalise.

Vettel took the first victory for a Red Bull-designed car last year when he won the Italian Grand Prix while driving for junior team Toro Rosso.

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"There is no reason to believe we cannot do that again with these new rules," Horner said.

"The regulation changes almost constitute a new formula for the sport and it will be interesting to see how the teams interpret them."

Vettel gave the car its first outing around the Jerez circuit.

"It's much too early to say anything about performance," Vettel said after a few laps.

Webber is hoping to get behind the wheel for the first time since breaking his leg in November when he tests the new car on Wednesday.

"I thought I'd let Seb do the boring installation laps and the running-in," the Australian joked.

"Wednesday's run will be as much a test for me as for the car, as it will be my first go in an F1 car since I broke my leg."

Newey's new car was one of the year's most eagerly anticipated: he is regarded as one of F1's most innovative designers, as well as the most highly paid.

The car appears to include a number of innovative features - including a top to the chassis in front of the cockpit which is lower than on other cars, and a more extreme aerodynamic treatment in front of the sidepods alongside the driver.

It also has longer rear-wing endplates than have been seen on other cars so far, and a very tightly-waisted rear.

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber pose with the new Red Bull F1 car
The Red Bull was one of 2009's most eagerly anticipated new cars

Vettel will continue his test on Tuesday, when Red Bull will be joined by a number of other teams, with Webber taking over on Wednesday.

It will be the first time Webber has driven an F1 car since breaking his right leg in a mountain bike accident in November.

Newey described the new rules as the biggest change since flat-bottomed cars were introduced in 1983.

They include changes to the aerodynamics, the re-introduction of slick, untreaded tyres after 11 years with grooved rubber and the potential use of a kinetic energy recovery system (Kers), which stores energy that would have been dissipated during braking and reapplies it while the car is accelerating.

Horner said: "The regulation changes almost constitute a new formula for the sport and it will be interesting to see how the teams interpret them.

"Certainly in the early part of the season we expect to see a much bigger spread in terms of performance between the teams than we have over the past two years."

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see also
Formula 1 teams unveil 2009 cars
09 Feb 09 |  Formula One
Webber recovery ahead of schedule
04 Feb 09 |  Formula One
Vettel to join Webber at Red Bull
20 Jul 08 |  Formula One
Mark Webber column
13 Jan 09 |  Formula One


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