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Limping Webber unveils new Red Bull F1 car
Alan Baldwin | February 10, 2009 10:38 IST
A limping Mark Webber [Images] helped unveil the new Red Bull Formula One car on Monday that could allow the Australian to step up alongside new team mate Sebastian Vettel [Images] as a race winner this season.
Vettel, the 21-year-old German who won the Italian Grand Prix last year with Red Bull's sister team Toro Rosso, joined Webber to take the tarpaulin of the new-look RB5 car at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain.
The covers were then put back on again, with a debut lap delayed.
Webber, who broke his leg in a cycling accident in Tasmania last November, was without crutches but clearly wary of putting too much weight on his leg.
The 32-year-old Australian, who made his debut with Toro Rosso's predecessors Minardi in 2002, has yet to win a race in Formula One.
The launch was low-key, with the car wheeled out of the garage in front of a small group of reporters and photographers in a reflection of the sport's straitened financial circumstances.
Red Bull, with both their teams bankrolled by Austrian energy drink billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, have also cut costs but their ambition was higher than ever after Vettel's success.
Adrian Newey's design team penned both the Toro Rosso and Red Bull cars last year and remain the creative force behind the new RB5.
Team boss Christian Horner said 2009 would see Red Bull "benefit from greater stability in terms of how we run the operation, with all our key players in the technical group having been with us for at least two years.
"We should not forget that they designed a car that won a grand prix in 2008, in the hands of Sebastian Vettel and Toro Rosso," he added in team handout.
"There is no reason to believe we cannot do that again with these new rules."
Formula One has new regulations this season that Newey said represented the most significant change since flat-bottomed cars were introduced in 1983.
Drivers will have slick tyres and radically different aerodynamics, as well as the new KERS energy recovery device that gives increased power at the push of a button.
"The regulation changes almost constitute a new formula for the sport and it will be interesting to see how the teams interpret them," said Horner.
"Certainly in the early part of the season we expect to see a much bigger spread in terms of performance between the teams than we have over the past two years."
Formula One: The Complete Coverage
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