Where are the big changes?
After looking at the pictures of the RB16B for the first time, we have to realize: Not that easy to determine changes compared to the predecessor. What is striking, however, is that the team has largely stuck to the good basic concept of the RB16 (also due to the regulations).
The underbody in front of the rear wheels has been adapted to the rule changes. The side pods also have a slightly different shape. Many aerodynamic elements have been changed slightly, but there is still no major visual change.
The first pictures of the RB16B
And here we deliver the first pictures of the new car from Milton Keynes. Unfortunately the team only released two studio recordings. But we’re going to study them right now.
One thing is certain: there is no shakedown paint job. The bolide comes in the usual colors of blue, yellow and red.
Photo gallery: Formula 1 2021: The new Red Bull RB16B in pictures
May we introduce: the new Red Bull!
Red Bull publishes the first pictures of the new car at exactly 12 noon. May we introduce: This is the RB16B from Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez!
Official: it starts at 12 noon!
Red Bull has now officially confirmed that we will see the new car in around ten minutes. The voltage increases. The best thing is to stay here right now so that you really don’t miss anything 😉
Shakedown merch: a first clue?
Rumors are already circulating online today that Red Bull could show off a shakedown livery. A reference to this could be found on the Red Bull website: A shakedown merch has recently been offered there. Shirts, caps and much more are in the colors dark blue, turquoise and red. Let us surprise!
What if Honda doesn’t build a good engine?
And he adds: “Red Bull probably thinks the Freeze is a great thing. Only when it turns out that the Honda engine is bad will they cry again. What if Honda doesn’t make a good engine for next year ? “Asks Albers in the podcast.
And he gives the answer himself: “Then Red Bull will have a serious problem because the engines will not be allowed to develop further until 2025.”
Albers: Red Bull “super unorganisiert”
Criticism of Red Bull comes from the home of superstar Max Verstappen today: Ex-Formula 1 driver and team boss Christijan Albers spoke in the podcast of ‘De Telegraaf’ about the top team’s threats to leave. If the engine freeze had not been accepted, Red Bull would have had to “drastically rethink” the Formula 1 project, stressed Helmut Marko a few weeks ago.
Many competitors took this as a threat. Albers sees considerable weaknesses in the team’s communication. “Everything about this team has to be cool, eccentric and flashy. But if you look at them from a distance, they’re super disorganized. Nothing against Max Verstappen, but other teams have a lot more professionalism in terms of communication.”
Video: Sergio Perez’s first visit to Red Bull
Today Sergio Perez will unveil his first Red Bull, having made his first guest appearance in Milton Keynes a few weeks ago. You can see what he experienced in this video!
Sergio Perez in der Red-Bull-Fabrik
Red Bull’s Formula 1 newcomer Sergio Perez talks about his first visit to the Milton Keynes plant! More Formula 1 videos
How great was the risk of an exit from Red Bull?
What would have happened if the Formula 1 Commission had voted against the engine freeze and the Red Bull project with Honda could therefore not have been implemented? This is of course a very hypothetical question with many subjunctive, but interesting to know how close the premier league is to an exit from Red Bull.
“It’s always difficult to quantify because of course we have to keep agreements, but let’s put it this way, our appetite would have been severely reduced. Red Bull is almost too established to be a pure customer team,” said Horner. With the new Honda deal, an exit is off the table anyway.
Will Red Bull develop its own engines in the future?
The team can also imagine that. “We have the infrastructure to design and maintain the new generation of engines,” says Horner, referring to the planned conversions in Milton Keynes. “We will have a factory in which we can build the engines and test them on test benches with all the relevant equipment.”
In addition, the formula for the new engines will not differ dramatically from the current power units from 2025, the Briton believes. It’ll be more of an evolution. “Therefore the facility that we are currently building for the current engines will also be relevant for the future engines.”
Is there actually a clause in the Verstappen contract?
Yes, team boss Christian Horner has confirmed that. “I’m not going to say what exactly it is about. But it has nothing to do with the power unit.” The Brit believes that tying a driver to the team with the help of his contract is not very effective.
“You only pull the contract out of the drawer when you have a problem. And our relationship with Max is very strong. He believes in the project and what we’re doing. He sees the investment that Red Bull is making.” He is therefore not concerned that any clause in the contract will actually apply. Although Mercedes is always said to be interested in the Dutch.
Lewis Hamilton’s one-year contract fueled these rumors. “Max would of course be the top driver on their list should Lewis decide to quit,” believes Horner.
What if Red Bull falls behind in 2022?
Although there are no compensation options in the regulations, there seems to be some kind of agreement between the teams and manufacturers should a team fall significantly due to the engine freeze in 2022. Then the manufacturer concerned can contact the FIA.
“As we know, there is an enormous amount of accommodation in Formula 1,” joked Horner when asked. “So it’s not as ideal as a regulation, but I think that gives the FIA the assertiveness it needs to get all parties to the table.” Then it could be discussed whether a manufacturer is allowed to catch up after all.
Mercedes engine guru is not an issue for Red Bull
“I think we have taken control of our own fate,” commented team boss Horner on the Honda takeover. Junior team AlphaTauri will also be able to supply its own engines. For the first time, the Austro-British team will be completely independent of an engine partner and will dare to take the step towards a perfect works team.
Maybe with an exciting new person at the top? After all, Mercedes engine guru Andy Cowell only announced his departure from the world champions last year. Horner waves it aside: “As far as I understand, his interests are currently outside of Formula 1.”
What does the Honda exit mean for this year?
“Honda will operate normally this year. They committed to December 31st.” Until then, the engine partner will also be working on the new E10 fuel together with mineral oil partner ExxonMobil – “the biggest rule change for next year,” said Horner.
The engines will then be handed over to Red Bull in January, “at this time in the coming year for winter tests”. The team boss emphasizes that the Japanese will continue to develop and optimize the engine up to this point as if they would not get out at all. This should enable Red Bull to get off to a smooth start in 2022 if development is frozen.
Honda exit: what’s next after 2021?
When we talk about Red Bull, of course we have to talk about Honda. Only a few weeks ago it became known that the Formula 1 Commission had approved the “engine freeze” proposal. That paved the way for “Red Bull Powertrains”. What does that mean in concrete terms? Red Bull will continue to use the engines even after the Honda exit at the end of the year, take over the technology, know-how and employees from the Japanese and continue to operate the drives at their own expense.
“It will then be a Red Bull engine, just like a Mercedes is a Mercedes engine,” said team boss Horner on February 15 when the new project was announced. This is designed for the long term, the investment is ultimately “quite significant” and has to pay off. From 2022 to 2024 the development of the engines will be frozen, in 2025 a new engine formula is to be introduced.
How did Red Bull launch in previous years?
We look at that now in this photo series. We’re even going back a little further and also shedding light on the predecessor teams at Red Bull. Have fun with the little time travel!