Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner says missing the first winter test will not put his team at a disadvantage, insisting the squad had always planned not to run until mid-February.
With the new mileage restrictions meaning there will only be 15 days of preseason running this year, all of the established teams had been expected to run their cars at the first session at Valencia on the first three days of February. However, Red Bull revealed earlier this week that it would not be hitting the track until the Jerez test nine days later.
Last year, Red Bull also skipped the first test to spend more time fine-tuning its design, and Horner says it is simply following the same strategy in 2010.
"It worked very well for us last year," Horner told AUTOSPORT. "We took a decision some time ago that there was more performance to be had by focusing on test two at Jerez rather than test one. It was built into our plan from the outset."
He said the similarities between the 2009 and 2010 rules made winter test running less important than would have been the case had the car been made radically different.
"Time is always of the essence, but much of the design philosophy is a carry over," Horner explained. "All of the cars on the grid have had incredible reliability over the last few years – on the first day of running with the RB5 we did 90 laps. We've got high expectations in terms of track time with RB6, so we feel that it's a plan that suits us and it's one that we plan to execute."