The car was initially tested by Sebastien Bourdais earlier last week – during a private test session at Adria circuit – but will make its official on-track debut during this week's group test in Barcelona. This will be Sebastien Buemi's first shot at driving the 2009-spec car ahead of the season opener in Australia.
The revised driver lineup for the 2009 season – as Buemi has taken over from last year's race winner Sebastien Vettel – will need to live up to the expectations set in the previous season. Despite being considered by many a back-runner this year, team manager Franz Tost sees no reason why his team won't match their 2009 performances.
“The 2008 season was good in terms of our on-track performance, which, it's fair to say, exceeded our expectations, with our biggest ever haul of points, a pole position and a win. It's going to be tough to live up to that this year,” said Tost.
“Right from Red Bull Racing's first test in Jerez it appeared that the car was competitive straight away and that Adrian Newey and his team had come up with a very promising package. The car looks good and shows very promising performance,” added the team manager.
Red Bull's RB5 has shown impressive level of performance during the last 2 group tests and is believed to become a front-runner in 2009. The RB5 and STR4 share the same design ideas this year – as they were both developed by Red Bull Technology – which would have to lead to the conclusion that Scuderia's car should “borrow” at least some of RB5's on-track performances in the season to come.
Both STR drivers are expected to test the 2009-spec car starting today.