Why Is the 2021 Red Bull Racing F1 Car Called the RB16B?

Published 02/23/2021, 4:30 AM EST
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB16 during the Red Bull Racing RB16 launch at Silverstone Circuit in Northampton, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)


Red Bull will soon launch their car on February 23, with the fans expectant to see this year’s challenger. The likes of Christian Horner, Sergio Perez, and Max Verstappen are expected to be present, at least virtually, during the unveiling of their latest machinery.

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But unlike preceding naming of their cars, there will be something that’s a touch different with the Austrian-licensed outfit this time. As compared to naming the 2021 car ‘RB17’, the team have proceeded to christen it ‘RB16B’.

Many have been left wondering why that is the case, unlike other teams who have carried on naming their machinery in serial order. We hence look at why Red Bull have sought to do this with their naming process.

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Nearly 60% of the RB16 will reportedly get carried over for the latest car RB16B

The reasoning behind it is actually quite simple. Despite the updated chassis, most parts remain integral to the framework of RB16. Hence, a changed version of their ‘B-spec’ car has led to the 2021 challenger being named RB16B.

A notable change in the car, much like every F1 team, comes in the form of a redesigned floorboard to accommodate the 2021 tech rules. Otherwise, the RB16B will retain a similar overall design to its predecessor, with the optimism of it being even faster.

Team principal Christian Horner had previously said, “I would say that of the RB16B…60% of the car is the [RB]16. Like all cars, there is a large amount of carry-over of components for next year.”

Red Bull will aim for more reliability and speed this time around

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While the launch will accompany hype and pomp, Red Bull would secretly wish for testing to arrive quickly. It would give the team a first chance to assess whether any progress has been made and if their correlations with wind tunnel simulations are on the right track.

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

A prominent complaint from the Red Bull car has been its lack of stability across a variety of circuits. The vehicles also faced retirements owing to engine failures at times, and this is where Honda have also put in their best to improve the power unit’s reliability.

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For the time being though, the four-time Constructor champions’ supporters would be eager to get a first look at the new car. They will hope that the RB16B can finally be the key to winning podiums and either title this season.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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