Earlier today, the Red Bull F1 team unveiled its 2009 F1 championship contender, the RB5. All we were able to think while looking at these photos was, “Poor Mark Webber, can he never catch a break?” Follow the jump for a full gallery and tons more F1 news. No, really. Tons. It’s been a busy week.
Adrian Newey developed a design plan that allowed Red Bull to continue working on the RB5 until the wee small hours of the morning—long past three weeks ago, when all other main contenders in the 2009 F1 championship dropped the curtains on their respective machines. Some have seen this as giving Red Bull something of an advantage, having seen what the other teams were up to before going flat out with their own design. Newey disagrees, saying that while obviously they’ve had a couple more weeks, they’ve had significantly less time in the wind tunnel with their new design.
Still, the RB5 has been keenly anticipated by most who follow F1, because there’s no one like Adrian Newey at thriving in the face of extreme regulations changes. Whether or not this will be another MP4-13 remains to be seen, but it’s worth noting that much is already being made about the radical departure in design seen in the teeny, tiny, bite-sized little sidepod units and the very nearly labyrinthine curves and angles of the front wing.
Meanwhile, as Stan previously mentioned, that rumour about a US Formula One team has been making the rounds again…but this time, it appears to be quite a bit more serious than it has in years past. Max Mosley has even requested that it be taken seriously, although it’s difficult to take a lot of things he says seriously, so it’s also difficult to say whether or not those words coming from his mouth give it any credibility.
Autosport reports that Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor are indeed setting up shop in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is not far away from where Anderson’s Windshear wind tunnel facility is located. They’ve also stated for a certainty that they want to recruit US drivers for their US F1 team, although they haven’t specifically named names. “Not many people here know, but there are talented Americans in Europe doing very well right now,” Anderson said.
Of course, speculation about potential drivers for this team has been running even more rampant than the initial rumours about the team’s addition to the F1 grid for 2010 have done. Top of the list? This should surprise no one at all, but Danica Patrick and Scott Speed have been most mentioned in conjunction with this team. The subject of Danica Patrick as Bernie Ecclestone’s dream driver has been tossed around ever since she competed in Formula Ford—although if that’s truly the case, he might want to brush up on his techniques at chatting her up. Although he may not be a Spanish-speaking woman of colour, Conor Daly has got extreme youth on his side, which is good since F1 champions seem to be getting younger and younger all the time. He’s also got an F1 pedigree, which means he might be comfortable keeping Nelson Piquet (formerly Jr, but don’t call him that now) and Nico Rosberg company. Or not.
Meanwhile, speaking of rumours that persist over a period of years, that one about an F1 GP being staged in Rome has reared up again. This time, it’s partially being fueled by the fact that de/famed track architect Hermann Tilke has been in Rome, allegedly planning for the street circuit being proposed for the Roman GP. F1Fanatic.co.uk has got a great article about Tilke’s contributions to/degradations of F1 in the modern era that’s well worth reading.
Finally, you thought this latest round of sweeping F1 cost-cutting measures was extreme? It may be nothing compared to what’s to come. According to FT, the FIA is looking to cut costs for 2010 by nearly 70% from their current price of over €300m for the major manufacturers down to €100m, and down further to a mere €50m for the independents.
Of course, a proposal is just that, and the thing about F1 is that in addition to being more soap operatic than the casts of EastEnders and As the World Turns would be if locked in an abandoned mansion with no way out, nothing is ever certain until the dotted lines are signed by all parties. So stay tuned to CarEnvy.ca as ever for any and all future updates As The F1 World Turns!
And for being so patient with us, here’s that RB5 gallery we promised you. Ogle away at your leisure.
Updated: Check out this video we found too!