New car must match magnificent RB7

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RED Bull Racing have launched what they hope to be their third World Championship winning car ahead of the 2012 Formula 1 season.

The RB8 broke covers in an online launch before it was unveiled to the public in Jerez, Spain, as the teams prepare for the first official test of the season which starts on Tuesday.

Red Bull's new RB8

Red Bull's new RB8

After it’s predecessor, the RB7, scored 18 out of 19 pole positions and 12 race wins on the way to securing Sebastian Vettel’s second world championship, the RB8 has a lot to live up to.

But double world champion Vettel is keen to recreate his dominance of the 2011 season, and is looking forward to getting behind the wheel of his new car.

Vettel said: “Obviously we had a great year, and I think you know we’ll always look back to 2011 and think how special it was, but to be honest, you don’t start the season having expectations to have the same or similar season again.

“We know how special it was and we really enjoyed that, but we also know how hard it is to be that consistent.

“The target is to try to do it again and try to get everything out of ourselves, so we’ll see how we get on with the new car, the RB8.”

Team-mate Mark Webber has the honour of taking the car out for the first time around the Jerez circuit, and can’t wait to get started again after the winter break.

“I’m very excited about driving the car for the first time,” he said. “It’s a huge amount of work that has gone into it as always with a new car.

“The initial running is really about getting as much information as we can, learning what the car strengths are, where some of its weaknesses might be and then we need to work on those very, very quickly.

“We don’t have much testing before we get to Melbourne and before we know it the winter programme will be over. It is a big responsibility and one that I’m looking forward to.”

And with the anticipation surrounding the team’s launch finally over, team principal Christian Horner paid tribute to those who got the RB8 ready in time.

He said: “This year’s car build has gone fantastically well, and I think it’s the epitome of continuity, continuity across all areas. I think we’ve designed and built this car in a record amount of time – a ridiculously short amount of time.”