Red Bull Racing is to skip the first of the official preseason Formula 1 tests next month. The Milton Keynes, UK-based outfit is set to become the only established outfit that will not have its new car ready for the first test that takes place in Valencia from Feb. 1-3.
It has decided to wait until the second test at Jerez the following week to run its new Renault-engined RB6 for the first time – which will leave it with just 12 test days before the opening race of the season in Bahrain on March 14.
Red Bull Racing's move, which it says is designed to give it more time in the wind tunnel, marks a repeat of what the team did in 2009 when it also missed the first test.
Team principal Christian Horner told AUTOSPORT: "As in 2009, we have elected not to run at the first test with the new car, so we will join at the second test."
Horner claimed that the move would give chief technical officer Adrian Newey an extra nine days of design and production time for the car that it hopes will help it win the world title in 2010.
"It's to optimize the time in the wind tunnel as much as possible," said Horner. "Obviously the car is much more of an evolution of the 2009 car rather than the clean sheet of regulations that we had for last season. But even so, with the refueling change, we've opted to give our designers as much time as possible."
Horner said it was "unlikely" that the team would take its 2009 car, the RB5, to the first Valencia test.