Helmut Marko, Red Bull's chief advisor, is basking in the sun in his park, which has been warming Styria for days and enticing him to get out into nature. These days, nature doesn't need to conceal its beauty.
The Red Bull squad, on the other hand, is a different story. Since the Austrian team based in England had to deal with a social media storm following the launch of the RB16B on Wednesday in Silverstone. The reason: technology-oriented media members chastised Red Bull for not showing detailed pictures of the new car at the rollout, instead filming mainly the old RB15, and thus reaching into the manipulation, tricker, and camouflage box - keeping a spectacular secret on the hopeful and Mercedes chaser.
Such interpretations make Marko smile, and he tells F1-Insider.com, “Time was a bit tight to do photo shoots. Driving was more important to us than taking photos. We have nothing mysterious at the car. No six wheels, no fan in the rear either”, jokes the honorary citizen of Graz."
Marko continued, "“The car is a consistent further development of last year’s model. The goal is to be able to compete for victories right from the start. At the first tests in Bahrain we will run all the parts on the car that will also be used at the season debut.”
Marko, on the other hand, cautions against drawing too many conclusions about true performance based on the results of the tests, which begin on March 12 and last three days. He states, "“We know that fuel quantities and engine settings are played with during the tests. Therefore, the true potential will only be seen at the first race.”
What can be said, however, is that the new Red Bull will be a car desgined specifically for Formula One superstar, Max Verstappen. A car that is extremely fast but extremely difficult to control, especially in the rear. Sergio Perez had already hinted at this after his first observations of the new vehicle. The former Mexican Racing Point driver states, “The car has a lot of potential, but is completely different to drive. Especially at the rear. Anyway, I already know why not every driver has been able to handle it in the past.”
Perez makes a nod to his Red Bull predecessors. Both French man Pierre Gasly and Thai Alexander Albon were unable to contend against Ma Verstappen and were forced to withdraw. Perez thinks he can do better, “It’s a matter of experience. But I hope I don’t need too long a time to fully understand the car.