When Formula 1 raised the 2021 season, it was initially going to be the campaign of the great regulatory change. The pandemic wiped out those plans, which has forced a technical freeze that, beyond a few details, converts the new cars for this campaign into almost clones of the previous one.
Alpine A521, Fernando Alonso’s new car for the 2021 Formula 1 season. Calendar of presentations of the new Formula 1: Alonso’s Alpine and Hamilton’s Mercedes, the same day.
The best example has been given by Red Bull . “The same, the same, but different” , they have titled the press release in which they showed the images of the RB16B , an evolution of the 2020 car with which they intend to change the ‘status quo’ of the grid against Mercedes . At least they are not hiding.
So equal is the RB16B with respect to its predecessor that it is difficult to find many differences in the images that have been shown to the media.
Red Bull RB16 vs. Red Bull RB16BRed Bull RB16 vs. Red Bull RB16BRed Bull Content Pool. Of the few new features that can be established, one of the most visible is the entry of new sponsors. Sergio Pérez contributes, among others, to Telcel , the Mexican telecommunications giant and his logo appears on the side of the front wing. In addition, Aston Martin disappears (since it will have its own team).
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, at a press conference. The ‘anti-Verstappen’ clause that Senna or Alonso already suffered, a factor for which Hamilton has only renewed one year.
Technically, some details . The new flat bottom (it is one of the few regulatory changes), some side pontoons with gills or a slightly more open nose peak , the RB16B is practically traced to the one seen in the last races of 2020, when they had already fully tuned the model.
The small aerodynamic modifications are aimed, according to the responsible designer Adrian Newey , is to make it less nervous and controllable. Max Verstappen already has a driving style that is very conducive to oversteer , which means that he needs a car that does not go too far behind. That is where the most relevant details will be in this regard.
To a large extent, the improvement of this car over last year will depend on the Honda engine . Already in 2020 it showed that it could be at the height of the Mercedes, although it will not be able to count on more horses. The small evolutions that they have been able to introduce will be welcome to be able to measure up to the car of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas .