‘What the heck?’: Shock Red Bull reveal

 news.com.au  02/13/2019 20:48:55 

Red Bull without Daniel Ricciardo is looking different in more ways than one as it stunned the F1 world with a brave new image.

Sky SportsFebruary 14, 20197:55am

Introducing the new Red Bull … with a colour scheme we were not expecting!

In a dramatic new look, the striking RB15 has been released in a blue and red livery — a sharp departure from the team’s usual look.

Red Bull have described the new appearance as a “one-off livery”. The announcement caused a bit of confusion as to whether this meant the new aesthetics would be used just for testing before reverting to the old colours in time for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

And Red Bull delivered more than one surprise, with F1 writer Tobi Gruner left perplexed by at least one aspect of the new design.

— Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1) February 13, 2019

Max Verstappen gave the car its first laps in a shakedown at Silverstone, the first time the team have run a Honda engine.

“It was a very positive day so I’m happy,” said Verstappen after the car’s debut run.

“After my first run, I was smiling — very happy with how the car was behaving plus the engine as well.”

Verstappen completed 39 laps with the team reporting that the car ran “faultlessly”.

“Of course today is all about filming, but it’s also a really valuable opportunity to check that all the systems work and that the car is fundamentally in good shape before we head to Barcelona next week where hopefully it will be a bit warmer,” said team boss Christian Horner.

“Now we’ve got eight days of testing ahead and it’s important that we maximise track time and get as much out of that process as possible prior to the first race of the new season in Melbourne.”

HAVEN’T WE SEEN THIS BEFORE FROM RED BULL?

Red Bull are no strangers to causing a surprise during “launch season”.

The former world champions launched their 2018 car in dark black and blue colours before reverting to their traditional look for the start of testing.

And in 2015, Red Bull’s winter look was even more radical, the team initially running their new car on track in a camouflage livery in a bid to conceal its aerodynamic secrets.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM RED BULL IN 2019?

The 2019 Red Bull car is the first to be made since the former world champions formed a partnership with new power providers Honda.

The team claimed four successive title doubles between 2010 and 2013, but have struggled to keep pace with Mercedes and Ferrari since the advent of the sport’s current turbo-hybrid era - triggering the decision to change engine suppliers.

Red Bull will begin the campaign, which starts in Australia on March 14-17, without Renault power for the first time in 13 years as Honda step up into the limelight after a development season with Toro Rosso.

Red Bull’s RB15 is the successor to a RB14 car which finished last season battling for victories, with Verstappen, who won twice in 2018, widely tipped to challenge multiple champions Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

Daniel Ricciardo’s departure to Renault has opened the door for 23-year-old Pierre Gasly to stake his claim as a race winner of the future.

This article first appeared on Sky Sports and was reproduced with permission

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