F1

Red Bull hope key issue fixed that could help Max Verstappen finally beat Lewis Hamilton

Max Verstappen reacts to Honda's departure from Formula 1

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Red Bull have provided a glimpse of the Formula One car that Max Verstappen hopes will take him to a first title and end seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton’s reign with Mercedes.

The team published studio images online of the matte liveried RB16B car, similar to last year’s model but with Honda branding in place of previous title sponsor Aston Martin.

Aston Martin are now a team in their own right after the renaming of Racing Point under Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll.

“Same same… but different,” Red Bull commented on Twitter.

“On the surface the first images of the new car suggests that not too much has changed over the winter,” the team added on their website.

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“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.”

The unveiling will no doubt excite fans and, speaking ahead of the big event on Tuesday, Red Bull boss Christian Horner said the team have fixed a problem which hindered their campaign last year.

Red Bull’s RB16 challenger had several spins during winter testing 12 months ago and that problem continued into the 2020 season.

But Horner believes they have got on top of the issues, with the hope that Red Bull will now be able to challenge Hamilton and Mercedes for race wins.

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“We’ve worked very hard to understand why we struggled for correlation at the beginning of last year,” Horner told Motorsport.com.

“When it [the season] eventually got going, compared with what our simulation tools were telling us – both wind tunnel and other tools [something was amiss].

“So, we learned a lot during 2020. And, of course, the challenge now is to apply that in 2021.”

When asked if Red Bull had fully addressed the correlation issue, Horner replied: “I don’t know – we’ll see when the car runs!

“I think we gained a lot of understanding through last year, and I think some of it [was] the complexities of our windtunnel, which has its limitations in some respects.

“So yeah, I think we’re only going to know what sort of progress we’ve made once we get racing from Bahrain onwards.”

Red Bull won two races last year with Verstappen and finished distant runners-up to Mercedes, who have taken both titles for the past seven years and will be favourites to stretch that run to eight.

Verstappen won 2020’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from pole position, however.

The Honda-powered outfit have signed experienced Mexican Sergio Perez in place of Thai racer Alexander Albon, who drops to the reserve role, to boost Red Bull’s push for a first title since 2013 and increase their strategic options.

Perez, renowned for the way he can make the tyres last, was a winner for Racing Point in Bahrain last December after going from last to first.

Verstappen and Perez will try out the car for the first time at Silverstone on Wednesday in a filming day, with Albon also in attendance.

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