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Lean, Mean, Number 13

Hello everyone, Spy here, slouching back into action with the willingness and enthusiasm of a teenager who's just been told to clean his room. Did ya miss me? No? Didn't think so.

Mean, lean number 13…

It’s been a quiet winter here at Red Bull Towers… ;) We got back from Yas Marina at the end of November after a pretty exhausting 2016 season to find that the designers had signed everything off for the new car and the factory had just about finished manufacturing all the parts. The new power units arrived a couple of days later and the build process went really smoothly. Everything fitted together perfectly first time and we had the RB13 ready to roll two weeks before Christmas. With nothing else to do, JW, the team manager, said we’d just be in the way so ordered us to all take the next ten weeks off with the instruction of reporting back at the start of March for some light pitstop practice… He then saddled Colin, his flying unicorn, and flew off into the su… bugger, I’m asleep again, aren’t I?

Put it down to work-induced delirium.

The factory is flat out. Given that it’s flat-out all the time, logically it can’t be any busier this week than it is usually, but it feels busier. Pre-season always does:  a rhythm develops as the season progresses but right now everything is new, we’re a little bit out of practice and that means it’s all just a little bit clumsy.  Either that or we’re cursed.

Cursed? Well yeah, this is the RB13. Not that anyone on the race team is superstitious. I mean, obviously we don’t walk under ladders, or cross the path of black cats – but that’s just common sense isn’t it? People drop things off ladders, and black cats can be really mean. Also we don’t generally like broken mirrors because it takes ages to fit new ones and then the drivers grumble they’re not aligned right even though they clearly are. It’s not like anyone is burying half a potato on a moonless night and dancing naked around the autoclaves in the hope we’ll have a clear run through winter testing. Except possibly Christian, who’s a certified magpie-saluting, salt-throwing, not-whistling-in-the-garage tinfoil-hat wearing superstitious fruit-loop when it comes to this stuff.

So, nobody on this team suffers from triskaidekaphobia (though a few of the lads might claim it cleared up when they started using the ointment). But there’s a difference between being a fully paid-up member of the Age of Reason and Pushing Your Luck – which is why it didn’t escape our notice that some bright spark decided to announce our RB13 launch date on February 13th, 13 days before the launch. That’s just asking for trouble, like building your factory on an ancient druidic sacrifice pit or putting a red livery on a Williams.

And besides, there’s plenty of places in the world that think the number 13 is good luck. Venezuela, for example, which is why Pastor Maldonado raced with number 13, and it never did him any har… well, OK, perhaps not the best example. But anyway, just to reiterate, it’s just a number and numbers are not lucky. If they were the RB7 would have been a magnificent, record-breaking, Championship dominat…

We’re in a lot of trouble, aren’t we? Does anyone have a potato? Then again, what did 2013 bring...