Red Bull’s new RB16b car has made it on-track debut at an official filming day at Silverstone Circuit.
Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez both got behind the wheel of RB16b on Silverstone’s National Circuit using the old pit straight towards Copse.
Perez was first to drive Red Bull’s new 2021 challenger and enjoyed a trouble-free session and admitted that the occasion felt ‘special’ but quite ’emotional’ to take the car on track for the first time.
The Mexican also is confident that the car will be capable of mounting a serious challenge for race victories, saying: “I can say I think there is a lot of potential. The conditions were not great but it was nice to get a feeling for the car. It’s pretty exciting.”
Verstappen meanwhile drove the RB15 in the morning as part of a shakedown to get him back into the swing of racing after spending the winter break based in Monaco, before taking over the RB16b in the afternoon session.
The 23 year-old Dutchman spoke of this filming day as a chance to shake off the cobwebs and adapt back to racing a F1 car again ahead of pre-season testing, saying: Days like today are all about getting comfortable with the car and with the new power unit, trying to make things run smoothly and trying to be well prepared before we go testing in Bahrain.”
On getting back into the car, Verstappen added: “It’s always good to be back driving a Formula One car and the first time you go out of the pits is such a great feeling.”
Team Principal, Christian Horner meanwhile is pleased to see the RB16b on track for the first time and both Perez plus Verstappen bank laps ahead of Bahrain.
Horner however iterated that this filming day was about ensuring basic functionality ahead of pre-season testing, saying: “Today is mainly just about making sure all the basics are functioning well before it all gets packed up and sent out to Bahrain and in that regard today was a success.”
Albon meanwhile drove the RB15 today and discussed the RB16b with both Perez and Verstappen, with the Thai keen to learn in his new role as Reserve Driver, adding: “On my side, today was about understanding the personality of the RB16B, talking to Max, Checo, the engineers and getting their feedback…”
Albon will now return to the factory in Milton Keynes where he will conduct work to help aid development, with the aim of ensuring that the team can hit the ground running in Bahrain next month.