If you think you’re seeing double, rest assured you’re not. Red Bull Racing’s new challenger for the 2020 Formula 1 season, the RB16, looks a lot like last year’s for good reason, with updates only die-hards can spot.
As far as we can tell, the tip of the nose is now slotted and there are now a couple of appendages higher up on the nose cone, while the bodywork around the power unit is packaged even more tightly, no doubt to squeeze more downforce out of the customarily raked profile of a Red Bull F1 race car.
Already one of the most aerodynamically sorted car on last year’s grid, it comes as no surprise that Red Bull chose an evolutionary route with RB16, so all eyes will be on Honda again, on whether they can delivery the horsepower to match (or surpass) Ferrari and Mercedes power units after notching three victories over the 2019 season. This may well be the season for Max Verstappen to sustain a championship challenge.
The expected postponement of the Chinese Grand Prix due to the Covid-19 virus outbreak is now looking like an opportunity for teams to regroup after the initial flyaway races of Australia, Bahrain and Vietnam. The decision by the Chinese promoters to defer the race to a yet determined date will give teams valuable time to work on early season gremlins.
However, the overriding concern for health and safety for all involved in Formula 1 may yet see other races affected in the 22-race 2020 calendar. Let’s hope it won’t come to that.