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Despite coming off the back of three consecutive drivers' and constructors' titles, Red Bull boss Christian Horner is fully aware that his team faces a hard fight if it is to continue its winning ways.
However, looking proudly at the RB9 today, he admitted that the team has already got off to a good start. "It's fantastic to see the car as such a huge amount of effort has gone into producing it," he said. "It also marks a new beginning for us: it's our ninth car but we're introducing Infiniti as our title partner, so the livery is strikingly different. Hopefully it's going to look pretty striking on track as well."
Asked if he believes his team can make it four-in-a-row, he admitted: "It's going to be tough because the competition is certainly phenomenal - but that is what has made the things we've achieved over the last three years even more rewarding. To have won three-in-a-row in both Constructors' and Drivers' Championships is quite remarkable.
"The 2012 season was tough and long," he continued, "but our success was testimony to all the hard work and dedication in the factory. We're fortunate that we've been able to maintain continuity within our group. This is the fifth year that this driver pairing has been together. We've got continuity throughout the technical teams and in all the key areas. I think that's proof that there's a fierce determination to keep both of those trophies in the cabinet for another year."
Asked how he manages to maintain that continuity, at a time when rivals are eyeing the talent within his team, and not just the drivers, Horner said: "I think people enjoy working in the team, they feel part of it, so there's a good team spirit and strong desire to continue what we have.
"Added to the long relationships we have with our partners and sponsors it gives us a very stable foundation on which to build.
"The way we work is open and transparent," he added. "We concentrate on being a Formula One team and nothing more. Our focus is very much on going racing and trying to get the best out of ourselves. Even when we've had very good weekends - and very good years - we know there are always areas in which we can make improvements."
Check out our RB9 gallery, here.
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