Red Bull RB9 launch: First pictures and video

2013 F1 cars

The Red Bull RB9 has been seen for the first time at the team’s base in Milton Keynes.

This is the car the team hope will bring them a fourth consecutive constructors’ championship. Sebastian Vettel is aiming for the same in the drivers’ championship – but team mate Mark Webber will be out to claim the title for himself.

Team principal Christian Horner said continuity and stability within the team gave him confidence they could capture both championships for the fourth year in a row.

“We’ve got continuity in the driver line-up for a fifth year. We’ve got continuity throughout all of the key technical areas,” he said.

“There’s a fierce determination to keep both those trophies in the cabinet at Milton Keynes for another year.”

Chief technical officer Adrian Newey described the car as an evolution of the previous year’s RB8. He said the car does incorporate a vanity panel, though it does not extend to the full length of the nose as the increased weight could not be justified.

The RB9 has a slightly revised colour scheme incorporating more purple, to reflect the team’s title branding from Infiniti.

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141 comments on Red Bull RB9 launch: First pictures and video

  1. andae23 (@andae23) said on 3rd February 2013, 15:30

    Though I wasn’t at the launch itself (‘onviously’), I get the impression that this was a very secretive and absurd car launch. Teams usually don’t show a lot of their car during launches, but Red Bull’s approach was just ridiculous. Pictures were not allowed, and when Keith and other journalists tried to take a picture, they almost had to hand in their phone. And as soon as the launch was over, the car was covered up before the journalists had had a chance to take a closer look.

    Secrecy has always been a part of Formula 1, though over the past fifty years it has increased exponentially. Today’s car launch was absolutely ridiculous: millions of people around the world watch the Red Bulls go around corners and support the team by buying merchandise – and this is how they thank them? By not showing them anything? I have said it before on this site, but something is fundamentally flawed in this sport. The sport is too big and the pay-driver thing and this car launch are symptoms of this.

  2. andae23 (@andae23) said on 3rd February 2013, 15:34

    I’m intrigued by the exhaust: they have a large tunnel, but there clearly is a second, smaller hole directly next to it. As long as we don’t get more picture, I have no idea what to think of that. The sidepods are remakably slimmer than their previous lay-out, looks very neat. A bit dissappointed that they have sticked to pushrod front suspension.

    • Jeanrien (@jeanrien) said on 3rd February 2013, 16:48

      @andae23 Have you also notice the hole above driver’s head, it was present last year but much smaller than it is now. If it’s for a ‘Device’ kind of thing, they will have to cross fluxes which is not what you usually want and in the same time they want an intake not affecting globale aero (like the one in Lotus, definitly hurting a bit their aero) … That’s my best pick for now (or they are blowing it somewhere else)

  3. I Love the Pope said on 3rd February 2013, 15:45

    Pretty soon these cars are going to be spindles, wheels, and a lawn mower engine on the back. You know, karts.

    I miss the late 80s cars. The 1987 Camel Lotus is one of my favorites.

  4. Gary308 said on 3rd February 2013, 15:58

    Interesting to see they’ve ditched their own style of nose slot from last year and copied Sauber:

    • JB (@) said on 3rd February 2013, 16:11

      That was exactly what I was thinking….. so much for the slot being meant for cooling the drivers! I guess Newey is a sneaky fox!
      As for the car itself…. Looks like an evolution of last year´s car… smaller pods, sort of the same rear of the car and this nose is even more hideous than Lotus´. Hopefully those small openings on the pods will give them enough cooling for all the goodies on board (NOT!!).

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 3rd February 2013, 16:36

      Yeah, noticed that too. In all fairness, Suaber’s idea was a very simple and clever solution and it’s nice to see that someone copied it

    • Do you think they actually copied it though? The car was released a day after the Sauber; I doubt they could manufacture such an integral part of the car in that time (provided Saubers was kept secret, which likely it was).

      • Gary308 said on 4th February 2013, 5:57

        They actually have had just under 12 months to copy, which I think is enough time for a team like RBR.

        Red Bull aren’t always the only innovators.

  5. Brace (@brace) said on 3rd February 2013, 16:18

    He said the car does incorporate a vanity panel, though it does not extend to the full length of the nose as the increased weight could not be justified.

    That’s just bull. They obviously think there’s an aerodynamic advantage (at least for their car) in having this sort of smoothed out step. That whole thing can’t weight more then a DVD disc without a case.
    Of course, he’s not gonna say it, since it will justify rivals’ teams suspicion that there’s something to be gained from having that step. :)

    • Mads (@mads) said on 3rd February 2013, 18:58

      Of cause they use the panel as an advantage. No F1 designer would use it if it wasn’t to some sort of advantage. Adding weight, for the sake of looks is just not an option, no matter how little that weight is. Even if the added weight will ultimately only affect their CoG ever so slightly.
      Ferrari and McLaren seems to be using the panel in order to raise the nose of the car even further then the regulations allow. Lotus hasn’t bothered to do so and apparently thought that their solution was just as good.
      I think Red Bull simply use it to clean up the airflow over the top of the car and stop the air from separating from the body. My guess is that its simply a more efficient solution of last years concept. I don’t think that there is any sort of trick attached to that half finished nose job that they are using.

  6. William Brierty said on 3rd February 2013, 16:21

    I only dabble in aerodynamics but from an aero perspective this is a much less exciting car than the MP4-28, or maybe even the F138. From what I have seen so far, and bear in mind the fact that these cars are only launch spec, this is in my opinion the current ranking…
    1. McLaren MP4-28 (very exciting, some neat concepts)
    2. Ferrari F138 (excellent improvements; a concept that could reach its “ceiling” after two seasons)
    3. Sauber C32 (impressed, Mexican money used well)
    4. Red Bull RB9 (simplistic rear design – probably just the launch spec)
    5. Lotus E21 (simplistic too – almost certainly a launch “shell”)
    6. Force India VJ06 (improved, but clearly designed on a shoestring)
    7. Mercedes W04 (couldn’t tell, the lights were out)
    I know this is just speculation but the RB9 launch is a insight into Red Bull’s demeanor. The fact that there were no photos, no live stream and fact that the RB9 had 2012 spec barge boards, front wing, rear wing, beam wing and an almost generic floor suggests to me that they’re a worried team. I think they’re right to be, the MP4-28 looks like a winner before its even turned a wheel.

    • nemo87 (@nemo87) said on 3rd February 2013, 16:32

      Could you elaborate more on why you think the mclaren looks so exciting on the aero side..?
      I’m a huge mclaren fan but I was a little bit underwhelmed with the car.. Just looks beyond basic. Thought both the Ferrari and red bull look far more interesting with some crazy body contours and so on.. I really hope I’m wrong and hope the mclaren isn’t as ‘fat and slow’ as it looks.. :/ on 1st impressions anyways.

      • William Brierty said on 3rd February 2013, 19:01

        This video should explain things for you, Anderson knows a lot more about aerodynamics than I do! Basically, all of the top guys have raised the nose to allow more air underneath the front of the chassis and have subsequently cut underneath the sidepods to allow for better use of the “coke-bottle” region just in front of the rear wheels. Also by raising the nose more air is pushing down on the front of the floor; perhaps the most crucial area on the car in terms of aero. The reason that the McLaren is so exciting is that a) they seem to have the “tidiest” package, b) it is an evolution of what was, statistically (in terms of average percentage deficit to pole position), the fastest car of 2012 and c) it is a great platform for development, particularly in terms of the front end and its rather “generic” nature, whereas Ferrari and Red Bull are now committed to a development pathway. Here’s an article in which Anderson outlines McLaren’s advantages over Red Bull. Trust me, its looking like a good year for McLaren fans.

        • Mads (@mads) said on 3rd February 2013, 19:11

          Trust me, its looking like a good year for McLaren fans.

          But this is McLaren. Last year they proved why a fast car is not enough.
          And with their best driver gone now it is now up to Perez, who will most likely be pretty erratic and not quite up to it for the first half of the season, and Button who can be great, until he hits a midseason slump in form which can be everything from a few races to a third of a season.
          Even with the fastest car I wouldn’t put my money on them getting either of the championships.

          • William Brierty said on 3rd February 2013, 21:24

            Exactly, that’s why I’m an Alonso fan. I said that the MP4-28 is good car, not that they’ll win the championship. So despite the blatant speed of the MP4-28, Alonso will win because McLaren are so good at wasting a good car, and Jenson is even better at whinging about a good car, see 2009. Also the poor qualifying speed of both drivers will become an issue, so I’m of to place a very large bet on Button winning the Australian GP, but the legendary skill and the blemish-less operational record of Ferrari and Alonso will make them unbeatable. Place your bets now.

        • nemo87 (@nemo87) said on 3rd February 2013, 19:31

          Great share thank you!
          Now I feel even worse about Lewis leaving -.-

  7. MahavirShah (@mahavirshah) said on 3rd February 2013, 17:33

    All this talk from the teams and Eccelstone on bringing in new viewers and yet I find it extremely stupid that teams have such poor launches except one or two teams. Force India was impossible to stream, Mercedes launch website crashed, Red Bull’s is a launch in just the name, they could have very well showed a pic of the car and called it a day.

    I really think teams miss the point when they can really attract attention. As fans all of us are anyways highly expectant of the new cars. I’m not advocating a common launch (although that was done I am sure , 2009 was it?) but atleast for God sakes get better servers and less paranoia!!!

    • vinicius.jlantunes (@vinicius-jlantunes) said on 4th February 2013, 0:42

      Yeah, we just want to see the cars as we could see McLaren, Sauber, Ferrari, etc… why make it so complicated like Mercedes, or a “fake” launch as this Red Bull one…
      (maybe I’m a bit grumpy due to all this time with no F1)

  8. Piotr (@) said on 3rd February 2013, 19:11

    Looks like a toy. Worst looking f1 car of the season?

  9. juan fanger (@juan-fanger) said on 3rd February 2013, 21:03

    Honda and Toyota spent years developing their own teams and getting nowhere – well done Nissan!

  10. vinicius.jlantunes (@vinicius-jlantunes) said on 3rd February 2013, 22:13


  11. markp said on 4th February 2013, 0:05

    Won every title for 3 years this is a slightly tidier version of those cars. Looks and sounds good to me. Whoever can beat this will probably win the title. Hope it’s Ferrari. Whoever you like this will be the main car to beat going by the past 3 years.

  12. Brace (@brace) said on 4th February 2013, 1:51

    So far, regarding cars launches, the underwhelm-ness of Red Bull’s launch is matched only by Mercedes’ online incompetence.

  13. It seems to me that out of the cars launched so far the ferrari is the one with the most worked rear of the car and the car that will use the air the best if you look the nose and the body work that the ferrari has. Also the red bull is not longer a duck nose but a ravens nose.

  14. If I’m not mistaken the red bull has a monkey seat while the ferrari and most of the others not.

  15. Jono (@me262) said on 4th February 2013, 3:18

    I suddenly feel like a red bull…and I don’t even like them

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