2013 F1 season
He described the RB9, revealed today, as a progression of the car they finished 2012 with.
“To be perfectly honest the only cars I’ve had a chance to look at pictures of so far are those of the Lotus, the McLaren and the Ferrari. And they look to me to be relatively evolutionary cars as well.”
“Apparently Sauber has a very narrow sidepod but I haven’t seen a picture of that,” he added. “We should really get out there and see but our philosophy has always been try and get on and do our own car and do the best job we can and think about next year rather than spend too much time worrying about what the opposition are doing.”
Newey wouldn’t be drawn on whether future upgrades for the RB9 would include a ‘passive DRS’ – “using some speed-sensitive device, whatever that might be, to augment the DRS effect” – which is allowed under the rules.
“It’s, for sure, an interesting area. It’s also, for sure, a very tricky area. Getting a signal that’s reliable, that withstands following another car without being triggered at moments that would be embarrassing, let’s say.
“To make sure that overall it is, once you’ve taken into account installing it and so forth, a positive gain on balance through the weeekend. None of those things are astraightfoward. So we have investigated it. I’m not prepared to say what we may or may not do during the season.
“It’s a very interesting area, an area that’s there to be explored. Actually deriving lap time benefit out of it – more to the point, points benefit out of it – is less straightforward.”
However he indicated which areas of the car were likely to see the most development in the months ahead:
“The front of the car, the nose, front wing can be changed relatively easily as developments.
“The middle of the car, the gearbox, the rear suspension, that’s the bit that really would be a huge effort to change during the season. So that’s the bit you want to ensure is as good as possible. The rest you can develop as the year goes on.”
2013 F1 season
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- Three-day test to take place next week
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