Q & A with Christian Horner

With Red Bull Racing having won the final three races of 2009 - and with so many of the 2010 cars clearly influenced by Adrian Newey's last design - the emergence of the RB6 was one of the most eagerly-anticipated moments of the winter

Q & A with Christian Horner

The new car's testing debut was interrupted by an oil leak and persistent rain yesterday, but team boss Christian Horner told AUTOSPORT Red Bull could still be pleased with the RB6's first laps.

Q. Yesterday was the first day for the RB6, and it did stop on track at one stage, but was it a successful test overall?

Christian Horner: I think we had a really productive morning, did a lot of laps in the morning. It was a shame that just after the install it poured down with rain, but we still managed to get some very valuable mileage on the car.

We had a small oil leak. It was a minor issue that turned into a slightly larger issue as we had to change the engine, just as a precautionary thing. It was the first time sort of in anger doing an engine change, but the boys did a very good job. There was a red flag as well at the end of the day so the afternoon was a little bitty, but we had a very good first half of the day.

Q. Is that problem a blow for your engine allocation?

CH: That's not a race engine, but there are four test engines. But there aren't that many tests...

Q. From what you could tell in the conditions, did the car perform as expected?

CH: The difference between the inters and extremes was reasonable, but I think Mark got a good feel from the car. It's impossible to draw any real conclusions, so we managed to sign-off a few installation checks effectively. I don't think the whole pitlane learned a huge amount in those conditions.

Q. The Red Bull is the car that everyone has been waiting to see after your performance last year, which is a new experience for you as a team boss. How does that feel?

CH: It's very flattering but I think we're just focused on our own performance. The whole team is working incredibly hard in all areas. It's so hard to draw any conclusions about your opponents - especially this year, more than in previous years - in the run up to the first race, so we've just got our head down, doing the best job we can.

It would be very dangerous to underestimate our rivals. They've certainly turned up with what looks like some good steps in Ferrari and McLaren's case. We're just focused on our own job, and we'll concentrate on putting on as much performance, not just between now and the first race, but between now and the 19th race of the year.

Q. Is there a big focus on hitting the ground running this year? Although Sebastian Vettel won the third race last year, Red Bull's performance curve definitely got stronger later in the season...

CH: We were running second in Melbourne and unfortunately had Sebastian's incident with Robert [Kubica] there, and then paid the penalty for that the following weekend in Malaysia - and Mark [Webber] was very unlucky to miss out on a podium there.

I think the important thing for us is that with total continuity in all areas, obviously the target is to hit the ground running in Bahrain. It's a long championship, but I think consistency is going to be the key to this year's campaign.

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