The Red Bull RB12 made its first appearance at Barcelona on Monday in the hands of Daniel Ricciardo, and was quickly turning in respectable times.
The team had already unveiled is new matt blue livery on a show car in London last week, but this was the first opportunity to see the car whose Renault engine is now badged as a TAG Heuer.
“It’s a third year car under a pretty restricted set of regulations, so there’s no big step forwards,” said technical chief Adrian Newey.
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“But I think the guys here have done a good job of tidying things up. We learned some lessons from the start of last year, where I would admit we made mistakes in the direction we took over the winter in terms of how it affected the drivers’ perception of the handling of the car.
“It was a good learning curve for us. We adapted and learned from there through the first half of last season, and made some revisions around the Silverstone area. We’ve kept developing the car since then and gone further down that route over the winter.”
The team lost some development time while it considered other engine designs last year, before finally agreeing to stay with Renault.
“It’s obviously never easy when you get a late decision on what engine you’re going to put in,” said chief designer Rob Marshall. “In hindsight keeping one with his generically very similar to the one we’ve just taken out simplified the task. Whilst we could have squeezed a different engine in on a tight timescale, it made it much easier having one which is basically pretty much the same, or at least the same shape and architecture.”