Pirelli has created new constructions and compounds for this season, and all the teams have to adapt.
“It’s a tribute to all the hard work of the guys over the winter because we had a very tight championship battle last year,” said Newey. “It was difficult trying to continue development of last year’s car while also doing research into the RB9. Obviously it worked for us, but it gave us a very tight timeframe to design and manufacture this car.
“RB9 is an evolutionary car. Probably the most significant change is not the regulations, but the new Pirelli tyres. We had a quick test with those in practice ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix but in truth we didn’t learn a lot because of the conditions. Pirelli have supplied us data about how the new tyres behave but past experience tells us that it’s only when we go testing that we really find out.”
Meanwhile team boss Christian Horner emphasised the continuity in the team.
“The 2012 season was tough and long,” said Horner. “But our success was testimony to all the hard work and dedication in the factory. We’re fortunate that we’ve been able to maintain continuity within our group. This is the fifth year that this driver pairing has been together.
“We’ve got continuity throughout all of the technical teams and all the key areas. I think that’s proof that there is a fierce determination to keep both of those trophies in the cabinet for another year.”