Mark Webber says Red Bull Racing has left no stone uncovered in its bid to ensure the RB6 is good enough to capture the World Championship this year.
With the Milton Keynes, UK-based outfit having lost out to Brawn GP in 2009, Red Bull missed the first test at Valencia last week to spend more time in the factory developing its new car. Webber, who drove the car for its first laps at Jerez in Spain on Wednesday, says the team knows it needs to do better this season if it is to deliver on its ambitions.
"I think the team has some very good, high expectations," he said prior to his first run in the car. "We had a great season last year and we are not looking to go backward from that position, so we have some tough goals to meet – as do all the other teams. To go forward from there we need everything right, and that's what we've tried to do as best we can. We are very excited, we've worked hard and there's been a lot of anticipation."
Last year's RB5 was a trendsetting design, but its form was compromised by the double diffuser issue that marred the start to last season. And, although rival teams have copied some of the concepts from Red Bull Racing's old car, Webber believes that design chief Adrian Newey still can produce an edge over its rivals.
"It's very rewarding to see lots of people have used our concept from last year and put it into their cars this year," he explained. "That was a real feather in the cap for our people, and particularly Adrian [Newey] and how clever he is.
"The longer the regulations stay the same, it's harder for him to show people the way, but he did a great job last year with the team we had at Red Bull. Hopefully, this year's car is enough to be having a try at the front and challenging at every grand prix track we go to."
Team principal Christian Horner is equally eager for Red Bull Racing to improve on the platform it set last year – as he predicts a four-way fight for the championship.
"I think that 2009 was a massive year for the team," he said. "We made a huge step forward. I think the group matured very well.
"You have to remember that Red Bull Racing is still a relatively young team, so I think with the lessons that we learned in 2009 about the performance of the car and how that evolved during the season, plus the stability we've had throughout the winter, we are in good shape for 2010.
"Our target is obviously to win the championship, but we totally respect the quality of the opponents we have. We have set ourselves very aggressive targets. I think you are going to have four teams that are race-winning contenders this season. McLaren and Ferrari look like they have come up with good cars, and for sure the Mercedes GP team is going to be competitive with its driver lineup. But we are quietly confident we've made good progress during the winter. We've kept our heads down. We've kept working on the concept that served us well last year – and Adrian and his guys have come up with another very good car.
"We go into the year with continuity with the drivers as well. Sebastian [Vettel] matured very well in 2009 and got stronger and stronger throughout the season, and Mark [Webber] is now back to full fitness – which compares to 12 months ago, when he was carrying a nasty injury."