Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says the defending champions are determined to add to the titles won in the past two seasons after the new RB8 was revealed for the first time.
Both the RB6 and RB7 models clinched the drivers' and constructors' titles, with the team hoping that the new Adrian Newey-designed car will be able to emulate the successes of the cars it replaces.
Much of that success has been put down to the way in which Red Bull has evolved as a team since the drinks manufacturer purchased the former Jaguar outfit and Horner said the Milton Keynes-based title winners were in a good place going into 2012
“The main reason for our achievements is teamwork,” he insisted. “It's quite simply the group of people that are here at Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Technology working as one unit. That's obviously taken time to evolve, but we've evolved quickly. We're still a young team and to consider the four world titles we've won in only seven seasons of competition is something we're fiercely proud of and determined to add to.
“I'm very happy with where the team is now. I think that we've evolved as a team, as a unit. I think we have tremendous strength and depth and I think that we've enjoyed great continuity over the last few years. As we've evolved and as departments have worked closely with each other you can see, in the detail of the car and the continuity that we've had in our production techniques and our development rate (and) in some of our simulation tools, that (it) all adds up to achieving the kind of team work that we strive for. I think we're well set for the season ahead. You can never take anything for granted. We certainly don't underestimate the quality of our opponents, but we're going into 2012 with a lot of determination to keep the two trophies in their cabinets.”
Red Bull's title success last year came after a stunning performance from Sebastian Vettel, who took eleven victories and only failed to finish on the podium on two occasions all year, although it was a more difficult campaign for team-mate Mark Webber, who managed just one win in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
However, Horner backed both drivers to impress during the year ahead and – in an ominous warning to the rest of the field – said Vettel was only going to get better.
“Sebastian's season in 2011 was quite remarkable,” he said. “It was a phenomenal year for him, with a record amount of poles, 11 GP victories and only one non-finish – in every other race bar one he was on the podium. So, for him to go better than that is going to be very, very challenging. But, as a driver, he's still evolving and he's still getting stronger. We saw that in 2011 and I think we're only going to see that again in 2012. You forget he's only 24 years of age and it's such a young age to have achieved so much. I think that, as he gains experience and as he gains knowledge and matures, he's getting stronger and stronger.
“I think the best tonic for Mark was to finish the year strongly – to win that final race, to go into the season having won the Brazilian GP. I think he's had a very strong off-season. He's recharged his batteries, he's trained hard and he's come back looking fitter and leaner than ever. He's in strong shape for the season ahead.”