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Red Bull 'going to the limit' to get car to first test

ESPNF1 Staff
January 10, 2011 « Trulli slams 'embarrassing' Lotus name row | »
Red Bull is confident its 2011 car will be a winner © Sutton Images

Red Bull is pushing the development time of its 2011 car right to the limit to ensure it has the best possible package for the first pre-season test on February 1 in Valencia.

McLaren and Force India have already revealed that they will not bring their 2011 cars to the first test and will run interim versions of their 2010 chassis instead. Red Bull has skipped the first test altogether in recent years in favour of more time in the wind tunnel, but team consultant Helmut Marko has revealed it is making a concerted effort to be there this time.

"We are going right to the limit in the build-time of the new car," Marko told German newspaper Bild. "We will need every minute until February 1 in Valencia."

The 2010 Red Bull RB6 was by far the fastest package over one lap last season, taking 15 pole positions from 19 appearances. However, the race for the drivers' title was open until the final race as procedural errors and unreliability meant eventual winner Sebastian Vettel dropped points throughout the season. Marko believes the team will iron out its mistakes next season with a car that he says is an "evolution not a revolution" of the RB6.

"What I have seen of the car so far makes me optimistic," he said. "Last year Sebastian lost 66 points because of technical defects and we gave almost all of them to Fernando Alonso. If we can get rid of the bad luck and mistakes of this year, we will defend the title."

Marko paid tribute to Red Bull's lead designer Adrian Newey, labelling him a "genius" and also revealed that rivals Ferrari had tried to snatch away a number of his technical staff.

"Ferrari has made massive efforts to get our people," Marko added. "But everyone has stayed in the boat. This is important, because we have an unique spirit in the team and I get the feeling Ferrari wants to have it."