The Red Bull Racing team became the first team to launch their new livery for the 2016 F1 season on last year's car in an event on Wednesday (17 February). Along with the new car design, the team in partnership with Puma also launched the new racing kits, which were modelled by drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat.
The colour of the car is vastly different from recent seasons, with the team opting for a much darker blue, and with Infiniti no longer a sponsor with the team, the purple side pods have given way to dark blue with prominent Red Bull branding. The yellow and the red of the energy drink are more pronounced than last season.
The new car with the livery will only be revealed on the morning of the first winter test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona on 22 February. Team principal Christian Horner believes that the new car will surprise some teams and is confident that they will make strides up the order during the course of the season. He predicts a slow start for the team, but has indicated that their designs and innovations are unique, something other teams would not "dream of" implementing.
"We've got our heads down and hope to create surprises later on in the year. We know that the first half of the year is different. For example, Toro Rosso has bolted in 0.8 seconds into their car through a different power unit — that is a significant amount of performance. We are hoping to make similar gains throughout the year but obviously the chassis is going to have to prop that up," Horner said, as quoted by ESPN F1.
"The team morale is really strong despite the lateness of engine decisions and everyone got their heads down to make a competitive car for this year. They pushed to the wire. We hadn't done any crash tests until Monday this week and completed them all in three days. The last one about an hour ago. We take risks which other teams would never dream of. That is our DNA and the competitive drive," the Red Bull Racing chief added.
Horner is also confident that their issues with Renault have been sorted and is confident that the constructor will provide them with stronger engines this year. They will be using TAG Heuer branded Renault engines during the 2016 season.
He has also warned rivals about the risk of writing off the former four-time Constructors' world champions despite their struggles to mount a strong challenge last year due to problems with their engine unit. The Austrian owned team had cut off ties with the French engine manufacturer at the end of last season, before re-signing with them as Mercedes and Ferrari refused to provide them power units for the 2016 campaign.