Day one of pre-season testing is now under-way and while Mercedes and Williams pulled the covers off of their 2015 challengers this morning, Red Bull have stolen the show. The Twitter-verse was sent into a frenzy when Red Bull’s official account posted a picture of a camouflage livery on the RB11. Dubbed as a “striking new test livery,” the Milton Keynes squad have certainly caused a stir.
The concept has divided opinion – some fans have lamented the paint scheme for being more vinegar than vintage, while others have praised Red Bull’s ingenuity.
I am most certainly in the latter camp. The livery deters prying eyes from inspecting the finer details of the car and is a perfect example of the secrecy and paranoia which universally concerns teams throughout all three tests. It is a unique concept and one which has allowed Red Bull to steal the headlines which were destined to lie with McLaren and Ferrari on day one of testing. As such, it is a PR success as well as a sporting one.
This is of course, the first time that we have seen the RB11 – Red Bull’s 2015 challenger – and it was very nearly a late arrival. The car only passed the obligatory FIA crash tests yesterday, after the team announced that they were behind schedule earlier in the winter. Whether it is because they had an expansive to-do-list or whether they simply underestimated the time-scale of their 2015 project is unknown. However, they have managed to make the deadline and at the time of writing, Daniel Ricciardo is one of only four drivers to have even taken to the Jerez circuit so far this morning.
As for the car itself, the majority of development seems to have occurred under the skin. Aside from changes to the nose profile, there appears to be only minor alterations from last season’s RB10 on the surface – a car which faced countless issues throughout winter testing last season. Ultimately, it is difficult to spot any minor modifications on the car, because the livery does its job effectively.
Congratulations to Red Bull on what is an ingenious approach to testing.
Image Credit: Infiniti Red Bull Racing