Finally! An F1 car with some paint on it. Say what you like about the new name of Visa Cash App RB – we’re going to call them RB for now – this team certainly knows how to pull off a decent livery, and it has done so again for its 2024 challenger.
It looks great, harking back to that stunning blue and red livery from the days of Toro Rosso in 2018, but apart from the colour scheme, there’s plenty else of interest when it comes to the engineering of this new VCARB 01 car.
After a relatively poor season for what was AlphaTauri in 2023, the Red Bull stable has been pulled closer together, and while rumours of the Faenza based team being brought in-house to Milton Keynes have ultimately not come to fruition for now, expect to see a far greater input – as much as is possible within the regulations – from the Red Bull team itself, with many of the RB team having made the move back to the UK.
The suspension on this new car has been developed from that of last year’s dominant Red Bull RB19, while much of the design of the bodywork has taken substantial inspiration from the work of Adrian Newey.
There have been plenty of changes in personnel over the winter. Long-time Team Principal Franz Tost retired at the end of the 2023 season, and was replaced by former Ferrari Sporting Director Laurent Mekies. He’ll be joined by new Chief Executive Peter Bayer, a former director at the FIA, Tim Goss, who joins as Chief Technical Officer and Alan Permane as Racing Director.
Drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda both return however to kickstart this new era for the team that first began life as Minardi back in 1985, before the Red Bull buyout in 2005 brought in the Toro Rosso name.
Ricciardo will be hoping to build on his truncated return to F1, having made no secret of his desire to return to the Red Bull team proper. With Sergio Perez’s contract coming to an end this year the decision makers will be watching.
Likewise, Yuki Tsunoda enters his fourth season in F1 with this RB team, and he too will be keen to show some progress to see if he can’t establish himself as a contender for that second Red Bull seat. He scored the majority of AlphaTauri’s points last season, but inconsistency remains his biggest weakness.
We’ll see the new RB VCARB 01 in action for the first time when F1 pre-season testing gets underway in Bahrain on 21st-23rd February.