Red Bull has revealed its 2020 Formula 1 car, the RB16, ahead of the machine turning its first laps during a filming day at Silverstone on Wednesday with Max Verstappen.
This is the second Honda-engined car produced by Red Bull, with hopes high that it can deliver the team’s first world championship victory since 2013.
Wednesday’s run at Silverstone means Red Bull is the first team to run a car on track ahead of the start of testing proper at Barcelona on February 19.
RED BULL TARGETS STRONG START
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has talked about a change in philosophy this year to ensure the car is strong from the start of the season.
During the V6 turbo hybrid era, Red Bull has generally become more competitive as the season has progressed, by which time it is out of serious title contention.
As the new RB16 is an evolution of last year’s car, which won three times in the hands of Verstappen, it is hoped that the rules stability will allow it to be a threat from the off.
Last year, the team struggled at first while it adapted to changes made to the front-wing regulations, but a series of upgrades in the races leading up to and including the Austrian Grand Prix improved the car.
This allowed Verstappen to recover from a terrible start to win at the Red Bull Ring, and he went on to add further victories in Germany and Brazil on his way to third in the drivers’ championship.
The change in Red Bull’s approach is reflected in the early running of its car, one week ahead of the start of testing.
HONDA HOPES FOR NEXT STEP
Having emerged as a race-winning force after joining forces with Red Bull in 2019, Honda hopes that he RA620H V6 turbo hybrid engine will take the next step in 2020.
The engine concept remains the same for a fourth season, with the hope that it can produce performance gains needed to consistently challenge Ferrari and Mercedes across the season having already proved it excels at high altitude.
This includes the need for a further step forward with Honda’s Saturday qualifying modes to allow it to challenge more consistently for pole positions having started at the front only twice last year – although Verstappen also topped qualifying in Mexico prior to his grid penalty.
Although Honda’s reliability record last season was good, there were still minor problems that it is aiming to eliminate in 2020.