Coulthard: Engine Performance Will Count in 2009
However, the news does not worry Coulthard too much, as the launch time will provide the team with plenty of time to make the necessary adjustments ahead of the upcoming season. The former F1 veteran believes spending more time on developing the car and getting it right, even if later than everybody else, is far more important than the adjustments that come after the testing sessions.
“My view is that you find out where you are with your mechanical package in terms of springs, ride heights and what-have-you fairly quickly. And very rarely does changing a spring package make the car go significantly quicker,” said Coulthard during the course of today, at the Autosport International show.
“You might optimize it for that track on that day, but the headline elements to make a grand prix car go quickly are driver confidence - because there's no question that when you're confident that unleashes lap time performance - aerodynamic load and efficiency is a key area, and making the tires work. So if the car comes out having used the extra time to develop further and it performs, I think this could be a very strong year for the Red Bull Racing team,” he added.
Red Bull have recently announced that they will turn to Renault for developing their Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) as part of the engine package for 2009. This is the second good news for Red Bull during the past few months, as the team will also benefit from an engine boost ahead of 2009 – after FIA granted Renault manufacturer with improving their engine in order to equalize performance within the F1 paddock. Coulthard insisted that using a more powerful engine will prevent situations like last year, when Toro Rosso outscored Red Bull by a long shot using Ferrari power plants.
“Towards the end of last season Toro Rosso were able to out-perform Red Bull Racing in many cases, but I think the fact that there's been a publicly acknowledged upgrade to the Renault engine by the FIA and accepted by the other manufacturers completely confirms what we were saying - that there were some differences. You now know it wasn't an excuse because it's been validated as a necessary change going into 2009,” concluded the Scottish driver.