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Red Bull, along with new title sponsor Infiniti, has unveiled the car with which it intends to defend its Drivers' and Constructors' titles.
In front of an audience of team members, partners, guests and international media, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber drew back the sheet to reveal the RB9, the final instalment in a generation of designs that have bought Infiniti Red Bull Racing 34 grand prix victories and six World Championships.
Nine times grand prix winner Webber three-time World Champion Sebastian were joined on stage by team principal Christian Horner, chief technical officer Adrian Newey and corporate vice president global marketing communications representing Infiniti, Simon Sproule.
Despite the largely unchanged nature of the technical regulations for 2013, Newey explained that the off-season was far from relaxed."It's a tribute to all the hard work of the guys over the winter because we had a very tight championship battle last year," he said. "It was difficult trying to continue development of last year's car while also doing research into the RB9. Obviously it worked for us, but it gave us a very tight timeframe to design and manufacture this car.
"RB9 is an evolutionary car," he added. "Probably the most significant change is not the regulations, but the new Pirelli tyres. We had a quick test with those in practice ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix but in truth we didn't learn a lot because of the conditions. Pirelli have supplied us data about how the new tyres behave but past experience tells us that it's only when we go testing that we really find out."
The continuity in Infiniti Red Bull Racing's driver line-up for 2013 is much more straightforward. Vettel is beginning his fifth year with the team, while this will be Webber's seventh straight season with Infiniti Red Bull Racing, the longest-established team-driver combination on the 2013 grid.
"The fact that this is my seventh season with the team is a massive advantage," said Webber. "I couldn't have envisaged it when I joined and it's hard to believe that you could be with the same Formula One team for seven years, as continuity is not always easy to achieve in this sport.
"I think the way we keep people excited and motivated here is important," he added. "It's quite a small operation, but obviously we're big on ambition and desire and that makes us perform very well. I've really enjoyed the years I've had here so far and I can't wait to get going this season."
After a thrilling climax to the 2012 season which saw him claim his third title in as many years, the sport's youngest ever triple world champion has had the opportunity to recharge his batteries over the last two months and professed himself more than ready to begin the task of trying to win a fourth straight title, something done only twice before in the history of the sport.
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