Red Bull unveiled its new car for the 2021 F1 season on Tuesday in hopes that a starting gift from Honda in the form of a new engine and subtle upgrades could close the gap with Mercedes. Sergio Perez, replacing Alex Albon, and Max Verstappen will drive the RB16B, the fourth of this year’s cars to benefit from virtual unboxing.
For Honda’s final season as an engine supplier, the Japanese automaker gave Red Bull an all-new engine block under the hood of a car that shares a lot with its 2020 predecessor.
But despite the similarities “under the skin, the RB16B has a lot of changes,” the Milton Keynes-based team said on their website.
“On the surface, the first images of the new car suggest not much has changed over the winter,” the team said.
“And while the postponement of the new regulations to 2022 means that there is indeed a lot of postponement to this season, that doesn’t mean our team of highly skilled designers are lounging on comfy pillows all winter long.”
“The team’s aim is to continue the momentum from 2020 into the new season in order to fight for the title,” said the Austrian team.
With Albon, now a reserve driver, alongside Verstappen last season, Red Bull took second in the constructors’ championship, 254 points behind Mercedes.
Verstappen won two Grands Prix with the 23-year-old Dutch driver achieving 11 more podiums.
Albon had to settle for two-thirds in an inconsistent campaign.
“This year it’s about trying to sort out some of the difficulties with the car,” Albon said at a press conference on Monday.
Perez and Verstappen will give the car a chance at a media day at Silverstone on Wednesday ahead of official pre-season testing on March 12-14 in Bahrain ahead of the opening grand prix in Gulf State on March 28 .
Ferrari is next to give its 2021 car its first public release on Friday.
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