26 November 2013
No rest for Red Bull
Even though Sebastian Vettel will look to wind down for a few weeks, work will continue apace in Milton Keynes as Red Bull begins its search for world title number five.
It may have clinched both F1 world titles for a fourth year running, and claimed victory in the last nine races of the year, but Red Bull Racing is not about to rest on its laurels.
While it needed to continue the development of its RB9 until late in the season, clinching the titles in India, work has been ongoing back in Milton Keynes as Christian Horner's outfit attempts to hit the ground running as F1 enters a new technical era in 2014.
The switch from the current V8 engines to a new turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 goes hand-in-hand with changes to the aerodynamic regulations, which will cause RBR's Adrian Newey to rethink his approach to the RB10. Despite that, and the fact that some teams switched their focus to 2014 a lot earlier in the season that Red Bull, Horner is confident that success now will not hurt the team's chances next year.
“Of course, we have been pushing the boundaries,” he told the official F1 website, “Adrian is never famous for starting next year's car early - and it is the same case for the RB10 – so, thankfully, we managed to secure this championship reasonably early. That enabled us to shift all the focus to the RB10, while Ferrari and Mercedes have been battling each other for the runners-up positions.”
While work will continue apace in Milton Keynes throughout the off-season, world champion Sebastian Vettel admits that he will try and take time out to recharge his batteries before returning to continue his unbeaten run into 2014.
“Nothing,” was his response when asked what he planned to do between now and Christmas, “Obviously, there are some things you have to attend to in December, which is nice, but I'll mostly try to relax.
“Obviously, [team-mate] Mark [Webber] is retiring from F1, but he's not retiring from racing so, as he said, he will still get ready [for 2014], probably with a little bit less pressure because the season maybe starts in a different way, but I think, for us, it's the same thing as in previous years.
“There are a lot of changes for next year but, in terms of rhythm, it is probably largely the same. Potentially, you start a week or two earlier in January, to prepare for the tests a little bit more, but, equally, you can't prepare so much because you need to wait for the first day on track, to know and see where we are.”
Pre-season testing is expected to start in January, rather than February, to allow teams to work with the new engine and drivetrain, as well as the latest evolution of Pirelli's tyres. The opening test is currently slated to take place at Jerez in the last week of January, before the circus decamps to the Gulf region for two further 'warm weather' sessions in Bahrain in February.
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