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I Got Very Close to an F1 Car and Didn’t Break It

There aren’t many things that would motivate me to drag my sorry ass out of bed on a Saturday morning and trek out into the rain.

Worth getting out of bed for.
(Note: I've noticed a lot of people finding this blog by Googling "RB7." Let me save you some trouble by telling you this car is not the RB7. See below!)

When I first arrived at the Javits Center for the New York International Auto Show, I had some trouble finding the one thing I’d come to see: the Red Bull RB7 (or what was being called the RB7, anyway — see notes added below). This can be chalked up to (a) my abysmal sense of direction (the Javits Center is big, okay?) and (b) the fact that the signs reading “Red Bull Race Cars” directed me to an exhibit that definitely did not include the RB7. Instead, there was a drifting car and a drifting. . . er, driver (drifter?) whom I almost asked for directions to the RB7 because I thought he was just some dude who worked there. (Wow. I am so glad I didn’t actually do that. SO GLAD.) The dudes who actually did work there had heard nothing about there being any F1 car anywhere at the Auto Show — and, they assured me, they would totally know if there actually was one.

“But. . . I saw a picture! On the internet!”

“Wait — you actually saw it? Where?”

“Infiniti posted it! On Twitter!”

“So you actually saw a picture of it?” I think this guy might have thought I was a little tetched in the head (who could blame him?), although he was very nice about it all. He asked me to please come back and let him know if I managed to find what I’m sure he thought had to be a figment of my imagination.

I then guessed, correctly, that the RB7 might be located in the Infiniti section, which I am proud to say I eventually found once I paid $5 for the program, which had a map. When I finally spotted the nose of the car off in the distance, it was all I could do not to tackle everyone in my way to get to it.

So gorgeous. So much smaller than it seems like it ought to be. How Mark Webber folds his tall self into such a vehicle is beyond me. I was so awestruck and so completely vibrating with excitement that the Infiniti guy working there offered to let me inside the barrier onto the rotating platform and took a couple pictures of me kneeling right next to the car! (You won’t be seeing those. ;-)) And then, apparently, tales of my complete dorkitude were told to everyone who came to see the car after me. Such is the story of my life.

Other stuff was seen at the Auto Show, and other things happened ( I got Simona de Silvestro’s and Justin Wilson’s autographs!)– but getting to see an F1 car up close and personal for the first time is not something I’m going to forget anytime soon.

There was some discussion as to exactly which Red Bull car was up there on the rotating podium. It was pointed out, for example, that there was a part of the rear wing where the Bridgestone logo had been painted over, and a few people were pointing out parts of the car that looked different than the RB7. I had assumed that, if they put the RB7 up there for everyone to gawk at and photograph, they would change a few things here and there, just because that’s how F1 teams seem to roll. When I came home and compared, the cars looked pretty similar, although I thought I could see some differences that might or might not be a result of photos being taken at slightly different angles. My photos aren’t exactly perfect, to say the least, and I’m probably not the best person to spot the really important differences anyway. I’ve included a bunch more pictures below; let me know what you think. (Disclaimer: I’m the worst photographer ever.)

Note:  I should mention that, even though it wasn’t an RB7, it was unequivocally labeled as one on the sign.

However,  Smart people on Facebook have identified it as an RB6. The shark fin is hard to see in my photos, but that’s definitely different from the RB7…

And, for something completely different…

Simona de Silvestro and Justin Wilson

Another shot of Simona de Silvestro and Justin Wilson

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