Red Bull gave Formula One fans a first glimpse of the car they hope will end Mercedes’ seven years of dominance in the sport.
The matte liveried RB16B car has a similar look to the 2020 model, although this year Honda replaces Aston Martin as the title sponsor.
“Same same… but different,” Red Bull said on Twitter, with Max Verstappen and new team-mate Sergio Perez set to get their first taste of how the new Honda power unit will fare during a filming day at Silverstone on Wednesday.
The Red Bull website added: “On the surface the first images of the new car suggests that not too much has changed over the winter. And while the deferral of new regulations to 2022 means that indeed there is a lot of carryover to this season, it doesn’t mean that our crew of highly-qualified designers have been lounging about on comfy pillows all winter.
“Far from it, as under the skin the RB16B features plenty of changes that maintain F1’s status as a serial battle of the boffins.”
Mercedes finished 254 points ahead of runners-up Red Bull last year, with the latter winning two races in 2020, while new signing Perez – who replaces now-reserve driver Alexander Albon – won with Racing Point in Bahrain after going from last to first.
Last week, team principal Christian Horner said Red Bull were “gathering momentum” as they look to win a first constructors’ championship since 2013.
Horner pointed towards Verstappen’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix victory from pole position as proof the team could reduce the gap on Mercedes this time around.
“Mercedes were so dominant last year, and that DNA is probably a large percentage of their current car,” Horner said.
“We demonstrated in Abu Dhabi that they are beatable at a track they’d been unbeaten at for the previous six or seven years. We just need to be able to do that on a consistent basis across the 22 or 23 races. We are gathering momentum.”
Horner added when speaking to Autosport: “I think we have been the most consistent challenger over the past seven years. We’ve managed to win races in six of those seven years, and it’s important for us to keep trying to be better in every area.
“Mercedes is quite a machine, but we’ve demonstrated that you can beat them – by working hard, by applying yourself to the task in hand.
“I think that they will be tremendously motivated because of that last race in Abu Dhabi and I expect that Toto has used that, and James Allison [too], to come up with an even more competitive car for this year.
“So, we don’t in any way underestimate the might of Mercedes. But we’ve always been a been a challenger. Our objective is, as I say, to take the lessons that we learned in 2020 into 2021. And hopefully RB16B will be a good evolution.
“Mercedes are the clear favourites with seven consecutive titles but we are excited about the challenge this season and won’t give up in our hunt for a fifth title.”
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