Red Bull Racing have paid homage to its chief designer, Adrian Newey, by awarding him with his very own RB5 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Newey was given the RB5, which won six victories in 2009 and secured second in the constructors championship for the Milton Keynes-based outfit, as a ‘a sign of the team’s appreciation for what the talented aerodynamicist has contributed since joining Red Bull at the start of 2006.’
Subsequently, the 51-year-old did not take long to get behind the wheel of his new motor – taking it for a spin up the famous hill on Friday.
“I’m overcome actually. The guys have obviously put a tremendous amount of effort into preparing the car for me,” said Newey
“You can see it – the paint and the lines are absolutely perfect, the work that’s gone into doing the helmet and everything else is incredible. Also, the fact that the guys have given up a weekend to come down here and run it for me is fantastic.
“I was nervous before my first run, as I’d never driven a car with a hand clutch before and had never left-foot braked expect in a go-kart – but it’s really fantastic to drive. A slight fright was that I wasn’t prepared for how long first gear is, so as I was pulling out of the paddock it was pushing me on a lot.
“I was saying to myself ‘hand clutch, hand clutch’, but the automatic reaction is to go for the left foot! We went up the hill on wet tyres, so it was a gentle drive. It’s just so great to be in the car and it’s such a great noise from the inside.
“The plan now is to club together with some other guys I know who are lucky enough to have cars and hire a circuit, preferably a modern one with a bit of run off where I can enjoy driving the car without worrying about having a spin in front of a crowd!”
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner added:
“I was delighted to hand over this RB5 on behalf of Red Bull to Adrian today. It’s a really significant car for us, as it’s the first model type that won six races for Red Bull Racing last year.
Adrian’s made a mess of his lawn with several different cars from his collection, but this one will definitely tear the grass up! Hopefully he will look after it carefully and enjoy driving it up the hill at Goodwood today.
“We’re happy to hand it over with the relevant crash helmet and overalls to make sure he’s safe; we’ve also given him a set of spares, just in case!”
Meanwhile Red Bull also made its presence known in London on Friday, with Mark Webber driving the RB6 around the front of the Houses of Parliament.
Residents were left astounded as the Australian driver pulled up to his mechanics and recorded a full pitstop in 3.2 seconds.
“Obviously, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity – it”s not every day you get to see the sights of London from an F1 car,” said Webber.
“This year has once again thrown up some interesting rule changes so any practice the team can get is going to make a difference, no matter where it is.”
Jonathan Wheatley, Red Bull’s team manager added: “As a team, we practice and perform pit stops in all sorts of conditions around the world but this has been a really unique experience, one I imagine won’t be repeated.
“We’ve only got a week to go before Silverstone so what better way to practice under pressure than outside the Houses of Parliament.”