Red Bull has taken pre-season deception to a new level in 2021 after hiding their highly-anticipated RB16B in the garage during a filming day at Silverstone.
Red Bull Racing released 76 photos of the day on track — none of them showed the newly-designed car the team will be running when the 2021 Formula 1 season begins at the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 29.
Red Bull’s act of duplicity has raised eyebrows across the Formula 1 world with the team choosing to park their RB16B in the garage on the first day star drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez hit the track at Silverstone.
The Dutch star spent half the day in the old car before only hopping in the updated 2021 model in the afternoon. Even reserve driver Alex Albon was reportedly limited to a stint in the old RB15 car, which the team has not run since 2019.
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The decision to waste one of the two-days of pre-season allowed under Formula 1 regulations, suggests the team has a secret they want to hide.
In an attempt to create a level playing field on the amount of time teams are allowed on the track to test performance, teams are only allowed two days throughout the entire 2021 season to promote their fancy new wheels.
It is the final year Red Bull will be powered by a Honda engine before the team’s new company Red Bull Powertrains Limited takes over as the power-unit provider from 2022.
Red Bull conducted their filming day this week behind closed doors — and the world is still yet to catch a glimpse of the RB16B in action.
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Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the Red Bull Racing RB15 – the old car.Source:Getty Images
There was already intrigue and mystery surrounding the 2021 Red Bull after the team released two photos of its online launch earlier this week — both appeared to be touched up to conceal aspects at the rear of the car with noticeable shadowing.
It has prompted speculation Red Bull is attempting to play mind games with rival teams with the professional outfit making a clear decision to leave their opposition in the dark.
It is nothing new for the UK based team which has repeatedly in the past hidden upgrades during testing events – and deliberately run old parts when on show in front of rival teams.
There is nothing accidental about the release of the 76 photos.
Max Verstappen also driving the old car.Source:Getty Images
Red Bull has long-declared it hopes to take the championship title fight to the all-conquering Mercedes this season — and they are desperately hoping the RB16B is the car to do it.
Red Bull won two races in 2020, but the original RB16 reportedly suffered from instability in corners.
Verstappen said earlier this week he liked what he has seen in the upgraded package.
Perez said there was a noticeable difference between the RB15 and the RB16B.
“I can say I think there is a lot of potential,” Perez said, according to Sky Sports.
“The conditions were not great but it was nice to get a feeling for the car.
“It’s pretty exciting. Earlier this week I drove the RB15 but today I could feel a step in overall grip and top speed.”
All eyes will be on the Red Bull garage when F1 pre-season testing begins in Bahrain from March 12-14.
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