Red Bull plan Jerez debut for 2012 car

Jan.9 (GMM) Red Bull Racing plans to get its 2012 car up and running for the first Formula 1 test at Jerez next month.

In an interview with Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport, the energy drink company’s motor racing consultant Dr Helmut Marko admitted that time is tight.

“That’s normal for January,” said the Austrian, as the team prepares to attempt three consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ championship crowns next year.

As per usual, the new car – the RB8 – has been designed by Adrian Newey, who said recently the Renault-powered machine will be another evolution of the 2009 concept.

“Time is short,” said Marko, “but our programme is that we are ready for the first test at Jerez with the new car.”

For this year, Newey has to contend with the banning of the blown exhaust and diffuser concept, which was so effective in the hands of Sebastian Vettel in 2011.

“The rules are the same for everyone,” Marko insisted. “We have taken up the challenge.

“The most important thing for a championship battle is that the car is good and the driver is able to work with it in the way he wants — like Sebastian Vettel could last year.

“We don’t know if he will again race away three seconds ahead of the others in the first lap, but of course we expect him to be at the top — just as we do as well with Mark Webber.”