Red Bull Launch The New RB14: Will They Strike It Lucky in 2018?

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB14 Special Edition livery NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 19: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB14 TAG Heuer during the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB14 Special Edition filming day at Silverstone Circuit on February 19, 2018 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Patrik Lundin/Getty Images)

Red Bull Racing have finally broken their tradition of launching their new challengers “aggressively late”. The fans can savor the first Formula 1 car launch of 2018 with real-life car images. The previous two launches by Haas F1 and Williams were digital renderings. The team is also the first one to run their car on a track, though just for filming at Silverstone.

Red Bull Launch The New RB14: Will They Strike It Lucky in 2018?

Of all the car launches in F1, the one crafted by Adrian Newey is arguably the most eagerly awaited in the paddock and the fandom. The pre-eminent designer of his generation, who the Milton Keynes-based squad employ, always has some surprises up his sleeve. Dietrich Mateschitz has once again reposed faith in Newey for turning around the fortunes of a team starved of a championship since the start of the V6 turbo-hybrid era.

First Impressions

The first thing to strike the eye on the RB14 is the bold yet uncanny blue-black livery on the bodywork. The limited edition livery cleverly camouflages the subtle innovations from Newey. The sidepods are unusually narrow, leaving a glaringly big floor area jutting out on both sides.

The nose looks a tad narrower than the RB13, while the front wing seems similar to its predecessor. The car also sports the mandatory ‘halo’ which has been snugly integrated into the chassis. Gone are the shark fins and the T-wings, which have been outlawed for this season for all teams.

An Appetite for Disruption

There has been no official word from either the Team Principal – Christian Horner, or the drivers – Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, till this piece has been published. The team website and twitter account have aptly labeled the launch as “an appetite for disruption”.

Last year’s launch of the RB13 had been labeled as “unlucky for some” to tease their competitors. But it antithetically proved unlucky for their own drivers. There were a string of retirements for Verstappen early in the season and for Ricciardo in the latter half. With the RB14, the team would expect to reverse the trend.

A new battle in the swansong of Red Bull-Renault partnership

Red Bull will again be using the Tag Heuer-badged Renault engines this year and hope to take the battle to Mercedes and Ferrari. But this year, they have another team in McLaren to contend with, as the dark horse will be reinvigorated by their partnership with Renault.

With identical engines under their hoods, it will be a straight fight between the chassis of the two constructors. Fernando Alonso magic notwithstanding, the Red Bull team has arguably the best driver pairing on the entire grid. It will be interesting to see how the Newey crafted RB14 fares against its rivals and attempt to trump its counterparts in the swansong year of the iconic Red Bull-Renault partnership.

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