Red Bull Looking to Beat Mercedes in 2021 with Crucial Changes to RB16-B

Published 01/06/2021, 5:20 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace


Red Bull Racing, despite finishing in P2, had a rather unhappy season in 2020. While they managed to fend off the mid-field teams, their gap to Mercedes blew up, and on occasions, never had the pace to battle for a race win.

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Hence, learning from the mistakes, Red Bull are looking to make some drastic changes to the rear-end of their car. Consequently, this could strengthen their hopes of giving Mercedes a tough fight over the upcoming season.

According to Gazzetta, the Austrian-based team will be naming their 2021 beast as RB16-B, as a successor to their 2020 car, RB16.

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Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

Unlike their rivals, Mercedes and Ferarri, the raging bulls preferred to stick with a similar name with an extension of ‘B’ to it. Apparently, Red Bull are going to carry their 2020 car into the upcoming season, with some developments. Hence, the team avoided giving their 2021 car a new name.

The RB16-B will possess a new gearbox and some major aerodynamic changes, which will boost their chances of lifting the constructor’s trophy after seven long years.

Changes to 2021 Red Bull car

Citing the new regulations related to the dimensions of the car’s rear over the 2021 season, Red Bull are looking to bring about a balance with two objectives. The first one regarding the suspension.

The new rear suspensions will allow better management of the variations in the height from the ground of the rear axle. The second objective is focused on the aerodynamics and will run through the newly designed gearbox, to support better freedom of the rear diffuser channels’ design.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

Apparently, the two changes will help the cars recover the loss of load, and also cope with the turbulence generated by tire degradation.

Consequently, it is quite practical to opt for a single pylon rather than two pylons to support the rear wing. The latter design can be witnessed in the 2020 car.

Tweaks to the power unit

The upcoming Honda’s power train will be the last design that will come out of the Japanese manufacturing unit. There won’t be any major changes to the 2021 power unit, as it will be an improvement of the 2020’s RA620h power unit.

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Despite the fact that Honda will terminate their relationship with Red Bull and F1 post-2021, the engine suppliers have not given up on investing majorly regarding the 2021 engine development.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Red Bull’s Alexander Albon passes his team at the end of the race FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Apparently, the upcoming tweaks will solve the power loss that Max Verstappen complained of through the 2020 season; the Tuscan GP race being a prime example.

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Hence, overall, Red Bull will be hoping that these technical developments to their RB16-B will help them gain their desired performance. But will this be enough for Red Bull to beat their arch-rivals, Mercedes?

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Rohit Kumar

743 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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