Red Bull Racing presented their 2008 contender to the press this morning at the circuit of Jerez. Later today, David Coulthard will get the honour of driving the RB4 for the very first time. The Renault-powered machine is the second car designed for the team under the technical leadership of Adrian Newey.
Just a twenty minute drive from Red Bull Racing’s Milton Keynes headquarters, the sun is shining brightly over a nice dry track at Silverstone Circuit.
However, we chose to drive to the southern tip of Europe to launch our 2008 challenger, the RB4, at the Jerez track, where grey skies and rain are the order of the day. Despite the wet track, David Coulthard completed an installation lap early this morning.
“It’s great to see a new car come together,” he commented. “Inevitably, a lot of parts were still arriving last night, so when I left for my bed it looked a bit bare, but this morning, there it was in all its glory! It looks super with lots of nice detail on it and given that it did its installation lap and came back to the garage, so far we have achieved all our targets! Now we have to build from there”.
Anxiously watching from the pit wall was team principal, Christian Horner: “It’s always a key moment to see a new car run for the first time,” he said. “And particularly in the case of RB4, that first lap represents a monumental amount of work from the entire workforce. Over the last few weeks, all the departments have made Herculean efforts to get the car ready for this shakedown today”.
Also announced today is the appointment of Sebastien Buemi as the team’s test and reserve driver for 2008. The 19 year old from Aigle in Switzerland, will combine this role with a GP2 race seat with the Arden team. Last year, Buemi took part in five GP2 events, replacing the injured Michael Ammermuller, but his main focus was the Formula 3 Euroseries, in which he finished as runner-up. In 2002, he was European Karting champion and runner-up in the ADAC BMW series in 2005.
“This appointment is a big step forward for me,” commented Buemi. “I am delighted and thank Red Bull, which has supported me in the lower formulas since 2005. I will do my best to concentrate on combining my GP2 racing commitment with my duties for Red Bull Racing and I am looking forward to the year ahead.”