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Sunday, 3 February 2013

Red Bull RB9: Purple Haze

2013 Red Bull RB9
First of all, there are no official pictures from the launch of the reigning World Constructor's Champion's new car, so I tried opening this post with their official reveal video, but not only will it not embed, YouTube Downloader can't download it. So please click this link to open it in another tab.  All I can do is show you horribly over-exposed cameraphone shots from the launch, as the press was strictly told no photography, and 1080p screenshots from the video. So here some of it is: the Red Bull RB9.

There's also sod-all information about it beyond what we can work out from looking, although team principal Christian Horner has called it an evolution of last year's car, saying that continuity and stability will hopefully be key to them getting their fourth world title in a row.

The other side. Turns out it's symmetrical. Who'd a thunk?
He's partially referring to the fact that their driver lineup is the same for the fifth year in a row, meaning there are just familiar faces testing out a better version of something they already know very well. But what changes can we find? Well, first of all there's the purple highlights on the sidepods, its of the front wing and other places too, although the Red Bull blue still shines through underneath. There's also a large Infiniti logo on the side, showing their increased sponsorship money involvement in the team. Frankly their link with RBR is very tenuous, because they're the luxury brand of Nissan, who's in an alliace with Renault, who supply RBR with engines. Still, being two steps removed from any link won't stop them cashing in on Red Bull's runaway successes.


As for what's under the paint, the stepped nose remains, although the mysterious air intake has vanished, being replaced by a ramp that's at a shallower angle to last year's car courtesy of a short Vanity Panel that doesn't stretch to the tip of the nose, due to the added grams. The exhaust area will no doubt be improved with lots of cleverness as well, although the video doesn't show the rear end at all. Reports are coming in on Twitter that the press have no 3G signal and are being threatened with having their cameras and phones confiscated, which combined with the lack of a live launch like all the other teams have done makes you wonder why the hell they're even bothering to launch the damn car at all. Here's an over-exposed secret snap anyway:


The exhaust is another low-set Coanda affair, while the mullet has been trimmed back, much like the Sauber, McLaren and Ferrari. The front suspension looks like a pushrod setup rather than the lower pullrod system of Ferrari and McLaren. The diffuser isn't really visible, which will cause Adrian Newey to breathe a sigh of relief.

Wait, THIS JUST IN: Three official pictures:

More purple on the rear wing, and the dark blue stripe has been replaced by a purple one as well.
Of course, this won't be 100% accurate anyway, because people might actually learn something that way...
This counts as a shot of the rear end, right?
Lastly, a comparison image from a fan. The angle isn't quite the same from picture to picture.
So now you know what most of it sort-of looks like. Plus we all know that there is something worth hiding on the show car, or else they wouldn't be being such jackasses about letting people take pictures of it. Even McLaren let people get right up close to theirs. It's also ridiculous to assume that nobody will be able to take pictures of it when it's moving at Jerez on Tuesday anyway, so they're just being silly about their secrecy. Regardless, here's hoping Mark Webber - having finally healed from his terrible biking accident two years ago - can knock Vettel off his perch this year. It would be very satisfying to see.

UPDATE: More pictures.

Infiniti are now title sponsors of Red Bull Racing, but like Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, you needn't say the whole name.
Typically, Vettel's side of the cover was tweaked to come off faster...
Large turning vane between the front wheels not copied by other teams... yet.

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