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F1 NEWS 

Red Bull press on despite engine doubts

Red Bull Racing's uncertainty about the engine they will use next year is not stopping them pressing ahead with the design of their 2007 challenger.

The team have an engine contract with Ferrari for next year but sources claim that they are looking to shift that supply on to sister team Toro Rosso. That would allow them to move to Renault customer powerplants.

Those plans are currently on hold because Ferrari want Red Bull to honour the original contract. This standoff means the team are having to pen their car without definitely knowing the dimensions of their 2007 engine.

Red Bull Racing's head of research and development, Anton Stipinovich, is confident that the uncertainty is not going to compromise next year's design.

He said: "It means that we are even more reliant on getting our preparation 100% right, because at this time of year ideally one should have a mock up engine and drawings on which to base a design."

Stipinovich confirms that the main focus for the team is now on next year's design, meaning that development of this year's RB2 is being wound down.

"We are in the situation where we are slowing down development on our current 2006 car and stepping up development on RB3. Most teams follow this policy at a moment in the season when they realise that there is no point in pushing development too far on the current car and it is better to step up the work on the new car.

"It's different for a team fighting for a key position in the championship. Here at Red Bull Racing, our work on the new car now escalates, both in terms of design and testing as we start downscaling development on the current car."

He added: "If there are items that we would still like to test on RB2 because we feel that they will bring us a gain on RB3, then we will run those in races and/or tests to get more experience of them.

"In general, what we are doing at the moment is concentrating on simulation work, either by electronic simulation or those simulations that we do on dynamometers or in the laboratory.

"So at the moment we are testing several components that are being prepared for RB3 such as power steering parts, differentials and new electronics."

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