Sebastian Vettel has given Red Bull Racing's latest F1 world championship contender its first laps in anger as he ventured out in the RB5 shortly after the car was unveiled to the media in the pit-lane at Jerez de la Frontera.
The German took the Renault-powered machine out for a series of installation laps and will continue to put it through its paces, along with team-mate Mark Webber, over the next couple of days.
"It's good that we got the car running without any major problems, but it's much too early to say anything about performance," Vettel commented, "For now, we are concentrating on checking all the systems, which are very different to those on last year's car."
While much of the off-season debate has centred on the looks of the new breed of F1 car, with their radically altered front and rear wings, Vettel revealed that, from the inside too, they appear very different.
"It was a strange feeling when I looked in my mirrors, as you don't see anything behind you, no wings or other bits - all you see is the rear tyres and it looks very naked," he explained, "The view from the front is different too, because of the shape of the nose, but I'll get used to it very quickly. It's good to be back in a racing car again and I feel as though we are on the way to Australia now. "
On hand to watch the RB5's maiden outing were both chief technical officer Adrian Newey and team principal Christian Horner, who admitted to be excited, not just about the unveiling of the new car, but also Webber's presence after his leg-breaking bicycle accident in November.
"Today's run here at Jerez is the culmination of months of work for all the Red Bull Technology and Red Bull Racing staff back at base in Milton Keynes," Horner noted. "and, like any new car launch, it's a moment of excitement and speculation.
"But we're just as excited about our driving pairing. In Sebastian, we've got one of the sport's most exciting young talents, who will be looking to build on his very impressive rookie season, while Mark's making a great recovery from his broken leg in a very short space of time, and the injury has had minimal impact on his preparation for the season."
Webber was on hand to help his young team-mate pull back the covers to reveal the RB5, and made light of the injury, which has revealed extensive - and unusual - treatment, kept him out of the cockpit for several months and appeared to still be far from comfortable as he attempted to move about without crutches in the Jerez pit-lane.