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New Red Bull heading for 1 February debut – Marko

Red Bull is pushing hard to prepare its 2011 car for the first day of winter testing next month.

The energy drink company’s motor sport consultant Dr Helmut Marko confirmed world champion Sebastian Vettel’s recent claim that the RB7 is on schedule to make its track debut on 1 February at Valencia.

“We are going right to the limit in the build-time of the new car,” Austrian Marko, 67, told German newspaper Bild.

“We will need every minute until the first of February in Valencia,” he added.

Marko hailed Red Bull’s car designer Adrian Newey as a “genius” and said his 2011 car is an “evolution not a revolution” of the title-winning RB6.

“What I have seen of the car so far makes me optimistic,” he said.

“Last year Sebastian lost 66 points because of technical defects and we gave almost all of them to Fernando Alonso.

“If we can get rid of the bad luck and mistakes of this year, we will defend the title,” said Marko.