Red Bull boss Christian Horner says he’s happy with the way the new RB9 performed on its first day of testing at Jerez.
Mark Webber finished the day in second place behind Jenson Button, who put in a quick run at the end of the day.
Horner added that he expects to see the same big names fighting for the title this year.
“Today is a really a data gathering exercise, but everything is running reasonably to plan,” said Horner. “We’re getting a lot of good data. It’s good to be blowing off the winter cobwebs.
“The goal this week is to learn a bit more about the car, to complete as many laps as we can ideally. It’s a get to know you process. We’re working to a programme and just ticking a lot of boxes at the moment.
“We have a limited amount of testing, 12 days. It’s important for us to use each one as constructively as we can. It’s very few days when you consider that is only six days for each driver – six days of preparation is not much before they go into their first Grand Prix. If imagine a tennis player only playing six matches before going into a Grand Slam. It’s unique to F1.
“But these guys train very hard, we split the testing between the two drivers, and they’ll be ready by the time we get to Melbourne.”
Regarding Red Bull’s main rivals, he said: “We’ve got all the same culprits, some of them in different teams. But it’s got all the hallmarks of a really competitive year. I think that 2012 was a great year for F1, and I think 2013 has got all those same ingredients, so it could be extremely tight.
“It’s so difficult to tell. Their cars will be updated again through the testing before Melbourne, but you can see all the teams have carried over their experiences from their previous cars, so it will only be when we get to Melbourne that we’ll know where we really are.”