0:51 Meet Red Bull’s latest title hopeful as the team launch their car for the 2021 Formula 1 season, the RB16B.
The fourth team to launch their car ahead of the new season but the first to do so with just digital images and no drivers present, Red Bull gave little away about the changes to the car, or hopes for the season, on Tuesday.
But they did make it clear that the RB16B “aims to carry the momentum of 2020 into the new season in a bid to fight for this year’s title”.
Last season, Red Bull started the year around half a second per lap down on Mercedes before winning two races through the year, most impressively, and encouragingly, at the season-ender at Abu Dhabi as Verstappen stormed away from his rivals.
Although whether that victory was as much to do with Mercedes stalling development as Red Bull’s improved pace will be found out this season.
What Red Bull do know is that they are armed with, along with Lewis Hamilton, the sport’s fastest and most consistent driver in Verstappen, the 23-year-old who continues to show title-challenging potential but has yet to be handed the package to fight at the front throughout a campaign.
Verstappen was fighting Mercedes alone for the majority of last season with Albon often unable to get out of the midfield, and the minimum expectation for Perez will be to assist Verstappen in taking on Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
After eight seasons with Force India/Racing Point following a solo campaign with McLaren, Perez finally gets another chance at a top team – which his performances of recent seasons have thoroughly deserved.
The 31-year-old’s best F1 season to date came last year, which was capped with a superb maiden F1 victory at the penultimate race in Bahrain.