Saturday, 23 February, 2019

Red Bull launches Honda-powered RB15 in striking one-off livery

Kristopher Love | 13 February, 2019, 23:26

They will use Honda power units for the first time, and the vehicle carries Honda branding on its nose and engine cover.

Red Bull's RB15 is the successor to a RB14 vehicle which finished last season battling for victories, with Verstappen, who won twice in 2018, widely tipped to challenge multiple champions Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

Red Bull saw progress in Honda, when they partnered with junior team Toro Rosso, and were convinced they would make the gains required to push on and become a title contender once more.

Honda is hoping to profit from retaining the same power unit concept for a third straight season - the first time it has done so in the hybrid era, having abandoned its 2015/16 layout for its 2017 campaign with McLaren.

The auto will be driven by Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly this year after Daniel Ricciardo opted to leave the team to join Renault over the winter. "Now we've got eight days' of testing ahead and it's important that we maximise track time and get as much out of that process as possible prior to the first race of the new season in Melbourne".

The Honda-powered RB15 turned its first laps during a shakedown at Silverstone on Wednesday.

And in 2015, Red Bull's winter look was even more radical, the team initially running their new auto on track in a camouflage livery in a bid to hide its aerodynamic secrets.

"I'm very excited to just get started with the engine", Verstappen said. "And from there onwards, you just start to work together with the auto [to see] what you can improve". "The first two or three weeks feel like they are good to have and then after a break you want to get going".

"With Honda, we're expecting a lot, we're all very positive but I think it also needs to take a little bit of time, it can not be from race one it will be ideal".

"I want to get the best out of myself, but you have to see what the vehicle and engine are going to do. So I think it will take time, but both Red Bull and Honda have the same targets and I'm sure they will manage to achieve what they want".