Mark Webber says new Red Bull F1 car is competitive
|By Edd Straw||Wednesday, February 8th 2012, 16:41 GMT|
Mark Webber is confident that Red Bull will be competitive in 2012 after his second day of running the car at Jerez today.
But while he is upbeat about Red Bull's progress, he warned that he also expects Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes to be strong, meaning that his team must continue to build on its good start.
The Australian completed 97 laps, ending up fastest of the new-specification cars behind Michael Schumacher's year-old Mercedes.
"The car was pretty competitive in winter testing last year and it's the same again this year," said Webber. "We know that Ferrari and McLaren will be there and Mercedes don't have a car yet but will bring it to Barcelona.
"We feel that we are prepared to do well, but we have to keep improving. Overall, there are no big surprises [with the car].
"We have an idea of what the car can do in terms of time. You are always anxious and nervous still. We are a long way from Melbourne and can't get excited about things today. The team is massively experienced and we don't get hooked up in winter testing [excitement]."
Webber added that the team has still got some work to do to get on top of the new RB8.
The change of regulations for this season, which effectively bans exhaust blown diffusers, requires the team to adapt to a new concept and Red Bull is still exploring the behaviour of its new-specification machine.
"We are chipping away but it's incredibly early," he said. "There was a lot of stuff to go through today, which we did, but you always want more.
"Getting hold of a new regulation as well, the concept of the car has changed quite a bit particularly with the blown diffuser. The leading teams last year had a very good understanding of it and now we've hit the reset button and go again."