The Red Bull RB3

The new Red Bull RB3, the team's first design involving Adrian Newey, was unveiled this morning in Barcelona with much excitement around the project, which the team hopes will propel it into the top ranks in Formula 1. The car will be powered by a Renault engine and so should be competitive. It is a completely new car which was developed in the Red Bull windtunnel at Bedford, which is reckoned to be one of the most advanced (and accurate) in the world.

"The Bedford Wind Tunnel might not be the most up to date facility when viewed from the outside as you come up the driveway," says technical director Mark Smith, "but as an engineering tool, it's definitely a good piece of kit and something that our head of aerodynamics, Ben Agathangelou, has put a great deal of effort into over the last three years. The result is something we can be happy with in terms of its productivity, accuracy and the results it has produced."

Adrian Newey admits that there are elements of McLaren-like design in the RB3.

"To some extent it is a development of the work I was doing when I was there," he says. "In other areas, there are derivatives of what has been done here at Red Bull and, of course, there are some completely fresh ideas. The design cycle has been very compressed which has brought its own pressures on both the engineers and the shop floor, but the response by everybody to that pressure has been truly extraordinary and one which we should be very proud of. It's great to be back working with Renault. I was always very impressed with their methodology back in the Williams days. They are very good and very pragmatic and can get the best out of a package. Past experience has also shown me they are completely professional when supplying two teams. Their reason for supplying a second team is not for financial gain, but rather to have more units out in the field to learn from in both the performance and reliability areas, which gives a fundamentally different cornerstone to the relationship."

The rest of the F1 world will not doubt be keen to see how the car goes and more than a few will also be watching for the launch of Scuderia Toro Rosso to see just how similar the car is to the RB3. If it is too close for comfort, there is going to be trouble - and that could happen even if the FIA examines the car and declares it to be legal because it is not a question of the F1 regulations as most people seem to think but rather about the contractual obligations of the signatories to the Concorde Agreement. The FIA is contracted to police the sport but if there are teams who feel that Red Bull Racing has not kept to the terms of the Concorde Agreement, the matter may not be resolved until the parties involved go to arbitration. They will no doubt be attempts to persuade them not to do that but it reamins to be seen whether that will stop them.

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