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Home Sport Red Bull launches car for 2021 with Verstappen and Perez

Red Bull launches car for 2021 with Verstappen and Perez

Runner-up in the 2020 world championship, Red Bull showed its car for the 2021 season and its new driver pair, with its star Max Verstappen, and the Mexican Sergio Perez having his second chance in a great team. Perez replaces Alex Albon, who suffered to bring results close to those of the 23-year-old Dutchman, who is preparing for his fifth full season for the team based in Milton Keynes, England. Verstappen and Perez will race with the RB16B, which got its name from the number of parts that could be used from last year’s car, since the 2021 regulation only presents changes to the floor and rear of the car to try to get a little out of aerodynamic pressure of the cars.

Perez’s arrival is seen by Christian Horner, head of Red Bull, as a sign of the team’s maturity, which for the first time since 2007 has sought out the market, and not in its driver development program, as a replacement for Albon. The team has seen several drivers go through their cockpits in recent years: it started 2016 with Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat, 2017 and 2018 with Ricciardo and Verstappen, 2019 with Verstappen and Pierre Gasly, and 2020 like Verstappen and Albon. And again he has a one-year contract with Perez, who had his first chance with a big team in 2013 at McLaren, but he disappointed. Now with 10 years of experience in F1, he seeks to bring the consistency on Sundays that his predecessor was lacking.

Red Bull knows that Verstappen does not need a teammate who forces him to perform at a high level. After all, he has been doing this consistently since mid-2018. What they need is to score better with both cars and, if the difference from Mercedes continues to fall, have more weapons to attack them using both cars during the races.

More balanced car and stronger engine

But what is the chance of this happening? It is logical that Mercedes is never stopped and, even when it was believed that they were approaching the limit in terms of development, they appeared with a much stronger set last year, with an even more powerful engine and a car that managed very well the tires.

It is precisely in these two areas that Red Bull has been working. In 2020, they finally surrendered to the concept more similar to that of Mercedes for the front of the car, while continuing to bet on rake (angle difference with the ground formed by the lower front and the higher rear ) very accentuated, which is a registered trademark of post-2009 Adrian Newey cars. And it is not easy to make both concepts work at the same time.

Add to that some problems of correlation with the simulation data and the drivers constantly lost control of the car in the middle of the curves, because the aerodynamic flow was not consistent in all types of curves. The car looked nervous especially at the entrance to the corners, which generated some by-products throughout the season – from highlighting Verstappen’s quality to undermining Albon’s confidence, passing by a car that was not as good as expected from a Red Bull when dealing with tires.

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However, because it changed the concept and thus had scope of development (and, knowing, of course, that the rules would remain practically the same this year), Red Bull continued to develop the car until after Mercedes stopped focusing on 2020. There was an obvious reason for this: to understand the concept as best as possible before changing the floor (major change in this year’s regulation).

So it is to be expected that the RB16B will be a more stable and predictable car and, on the engine side, Honda is optimistic about the major update that was being prepared for 2022, but that was advanced one year after the decision of the automaker. to leave F1 at the end of 2021. It is not a new architecture, but it is known that it will be a review of both the combustion engine and renewable energy systems, that is, something quite extensive.

The difference for Mercedes in 2020 was considerable and with all the limitations in terms of development in these two seasons affected by the pandemic it is something difficult to take away, but everything indicates that Red Bull is on the right path.

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