Max after first day in the RB16: 'Today everything went smoothly'

Published on 12 February 2020 by Niels Hendrix

The RB16 has made its track debut at the Silverstone Circuit, one week ahead of the start of formal testing in Barcelona. Max Verstappen was at the wheel as the Honda-powered Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB16 completed an official filming day, on which Red Bull is allowed to complete 100 km on specified demo tyres.

As was the case last year, Max had the honour of taking the first shift. “It’s been quite a while since the last time I was in a Formula 1 car and I was really looking forward to it this morning. Once you fire up, you’re back into the procedure, but before then, there’s always a sense of anticipation about what the new car and the new engine will feel like.”

Using the 2.638km National Circuit, Max completed the run plan without incident: the film crew and photographers got what they needed, and the engineers have a valuable dataset to study.

“Of course, it’s just a filming day but the important thing is getting the car running, finding out what it’s like, discovering any minor issues – basically getting everything up to speed before we get to Barcelona”, added Max. “Luckily, today everything went smoothly.”

While previous years have seen Red Bull launch in dazzle paint, this year the decision was to charge on in the true colours in the full 2020 race livery. With no great technical upheaval in the regulations for 2020, there isn’t quite the requirement to engage in subterfuge – but there was a strong desire within the team to get immediately down to business.

“We had a great debut season with Honda and the partnership has only got stronger and stronger,” commented team principal Christian Horner. “It’s been a really positive winter, and the effort that’s gone in behind the scenes has been truly impressive. Further steps have been made on both the power unit and the chassis side. The integration of the power unit fully into the car now is a work of art – and it’s nice to see it in what is now an iconic livery.”

With filming completed, Red Bull now has a few days to study the data and prepare for the first of two three-day tests. That begins next Wednesday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.