One of the most hotly-anticipated cars of the 2021 launch season has broken cover, with Red Bull unveiling the RB16B set to be campaigned by Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez this season.
The new car will look to build on the solid foundations set by its two Grands Prix-winning RB16 predecessor – with Red Bull hoping that the RB16B, in the hands of the new Verstappen-Perez driver pairing, will return the team to championship-winning ways this season for the first time since 2013.
The RB16B will also mark something of a swansong for Honda in F1, with Red Bull set to take on the running of the Japanese manufacturer’s power units from 2022 onwards – with that process aided by an engine freeze recently agreed amongst the teams, and currently set to last until the end of 2024.
Oops! Error retrieving Twitter post
Perez and Verstappen will give the new car a shakedown at Silverstone on Wednesday before it will be driven in anger at pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit on March 12-14, two weeks ahead of the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28.
However, with Red Bull having caused a sensation in December when they signed the out-of-contract Sakhir Grand Prix race winner Perez to replace Alex Albon in the team, the Mexican is due to test in an older-spec Red Bull in order to get him up-to-speed with the team’s systems ahead of the Bahrain test.
Albon, meanwhile, will still maintain a role within the team as their test and reserve driver, with the Thai having told the media a day prior to the RB16B’s launch that he was targeting an F1 return in 2022, admitting he would even be prepared to take a drive with Red Bull’s AlphaTauri sister team to get back on the grid.