Formula 1 teams have always been masters of concealment. But Red Bull is taking the secrecy surrounding its new RB16B to a new level.
At the film day with the pilot duo Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, the team was meticulous about not publishing any photos or videos of the new car in action.
A total of 76 pictures were published from the event, but the car was not to be seen in any of them – instead the vehicle from the previous season.
Already on Tuesday, the team had caused astonishment at the official launch. A relatively meagre press release was accompanied by two graphically heavily edited pictures of the new car. Details were hardly recognisable because various areas were heavily darkened.
Red Bull’s objective seems clear. Before the testing begins in Bahrain, neither fans, nor the media, and certainly not the competition, should be able to gain an exact impression of the new car. Which leads to the conclusion that the team might have found innovative solutions.
— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) February 23, 2021
However, the new underbody, which will be subject to restrictions in the regulations this year, is also eagerly awaited. With an aerodynamic shape, Red Bull could regain lost downforce – one of the most important goals for the coming season.
Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has already said that the cuts to the underbody “forced” a “rethink” of the entire vehicle concept.
For this reason, too, the Silver Arrows cannot rule out the possibility that Red Bull will “come up with a better solution” at this point.
How much the racing team really has to hide in the end, only the team itself knows. But in a year in which developments are more restricted than ever due to the upcoming rule changes and the introduction of the budget cap, such secrecy sometimes seems strange.
At least one thing is certain, though. With only three days of testing this year, the Formula 1 teams have less time than ever before to look at the cars of the competition – and to copy possible ideas.
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