The Red Bull RB16B, the follow-up to last year’s RB16, was unveiled in a livery similar to its predecessor’s, but with Honda branding on the rear wing instead of former title sponsor Aston Martin, which now has its own team in F1.
Red Bull ended the 2020 season inflicting Mercedes’ first defeat in Abu Dhabi during the V6 turbo-hybrid era, while Max Verstappen was the only challenger to Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas during the campaign.
Red Bull was one of the teams to trial 2021-spec floors on-track at the end of 2020 and its hopes will rest on fixing the windtunnel and CFD correlation problems that have supposedly been behind prior slow starts, so the aerodynamic changes this year do not give Mercedes a fresh advantage.
The latest Red Bull F1 car is one the team hopes will prove to be stronger against Mercedes and help the Milton Keynes squad fight for its first constructors’ and drivers’ world championship titles since 2013.
With significant mechanical component carry-over from last season to this one, Red Bull has banked on the progress it made with RB16 towards the end of 2020 in the evolution of its latest challenger.
Red Bull worked hard to correct the tricky balance issues that plagued the RB16 last year, despite Max Verstappen being able to drive around the problems to win two races, the 70th Anniversary GP, and the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP.
While Mercedes decided to end the development of its 2020 car around the Belgian GP in August, Red Bull continued to focus on addressing the problems it faced in a bid to ensure it can hit the ground running in 2021.
Providing it can fix the wind tunnel and CFD correlation problems it believes were a factor behind its slow start to 2020, Red Bull is confident of turning in a greater challenge to Mercedes this year.
Red Bull has momentum on its side after ending last season on a winning note and will be boosted by an all-new power unit as Honda goes all out in its final year in F1. The team has also strengthened its driver line-up by drafting in Sergio Perez to partner Verstappen for 2021.
“The only thing I’d say is that there are obviously significant amounts of carryover in terms of gearbox, chassis, elements of the suspension,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said in December after his side inflicted Mercedes’ first defeat in Abu Dhabi during the V6 turbo-hybrid era.
“A large element of the car’s performance is aerodynamic and that can be altered for next year. Our philosophy has been whatever we learned this year can be carried into next year anyway.
“They [Mercedes] are a very strong team, they have great strength and depth and we’ve seen that they have been bringing some components to the car, and of course we expect them to be very strong next year. But if we can build on this momentum, hopefully, we can give them a harder time.”
RED BULL WITH RB16B HOPE TO BE STRONGER AGAINST MERCEDES RED BULL WITH RB16B HOPE TO BE STRONGER AGAINST MERCEDES
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THE NEXT RACE 2021
|Bahrain ||26 Mar|
|14:30 - 15:30||Free practice 1|
|18:00 - 19:00||Free practice 2|
|15:00 - 16:00||Free practice 3|
|18:00 - 19:00||Qualifying|
|18:00 - 20:00||Race|
|Bahrain||57 laps||308.238 km|