RB reveals the VCARB 01


If nothing else, the livery on the annoyingly designated VCARB 01 to be fielded by the Visa Cash App RB Formula One team this season, evokes memories of Toro Rosso.

While fans in the sport's traditional European heartland were fast asleep, Visa Cash App RB used the lights on Las Vegas Boulevard as the backdrop to the launch of its 2024 contender.

At the event, where the team revealed its 'new' blue and white livery, were Peter Bayer, Visa Cash App RB's CEO and Team Principal Laurent Mekies, along with drivers, Daniel Ricciardo, Yuki Tsunoda and Amna Al-Qubaisi, the Emirati who is carrying the Visa Cash App RB colours in this year's F1 Academy championship.

Entertainment came courtesy of major names from the music industry in the shape of rapper, singer-songwriter and Pulitzer Prize winner Kendrick Lamar, and the multi-award winning rapper and record producer, Baby Keem.

"The enthusiasm and energy of the evening mirrors that of the Visa Cash App RB team going into the new Formula 1 World Championship season," said the team in its official release. "Together with our new partners, we are aiming to raise the bar and push ourselves towards the front of the starting grid."

Other than a new name, the former AlphaTauri outfit has new people at the helm, with Bayer the new CEO and Mekies the new Team Principal. Also, as recently announced, Tim Goss is the new Chief Technical Officer and Alan Permane the Faenza outfit's new Racing Director.

"There are a lot of new personnel, some big partners coming onboard," Daniel Ricciardo told the official F1 website. "The team has always taken itself seriously, but I feel like this is another step up. It's no longer just a platform for Red Bull Racing, it's a time for us to fight at the front of the midfield.

"I like what's happened, the changes that have taken place," he added. "There's something about the team, the mind-set is a bit different, kind of like a point to prove. It's cool. It's fun."

Moving its UK base from Bicester to Milton Keynes, where sister team Red Bull is based, RB is seeking a closer relationship with the 'big team' and to this extent is to use the front and rear suspension and gearbox from Red Bull.

"You have to aim high," said Ricciardo, "but being in this sport so long, you want to remain realistic as you don't want to end up ultimately disappointed.

"Top-fives should be a target and if we get into that position, maybe some podiums present themselves. Of course we want to win but, you know, let's, I think we made steps last year, let's make a few more steps.

"Do I think top-five results are on the table, and could they be on the table in the first half of the season? I'd like to think so."

However, the sharing of 'information' between the two teams has once again raised questions in the paddock, with the likes of Zak Brown insisting that no entity should own two F1 teams, the American having claimed that RB's predecessor, AlphaTauri, carried out development work for Red Bull in late 2023 as the world champions focussed on their 2024 car.

"We're in a situation where we have an owner of two teams and naturally we've asked, 'what can we share?'" said Laurent Mekies, according to Motorsport.com's Italian publication. "We should share. We are reviewing the regulations and sharing what we can.

"But on the other hand, we are pushing as hard as we can to prepare ourselves to fight for bigger prizes.

"For a long time we had two offices: Faenza and Bicester," he added. "The Bicester departments will move to the new facilities in Milton Keynes. Historically, having two headquarters has always been a disadvantage. But it's 2024, the world has changed dramatically. The way people interact is also changing. We want to make things work. We want to make our company a company without locations.

"If tomorrow a department is split between Faenza and Milton Keynes, we think that's fine. It's a challenge, but we think it brings with it a lot of benefits: we can hire the best people in the UK and we can hire the best people in Europe."

Referring to the development of the 2023 car, which continued until the very end of the season, thereby arousing the interest of the likes of Brown, he said: "We developed the car until the latter part of the year, so the starting point of this year's car is not very different from what you saw in Abu Dhabi last year.

"Along with all the profound changes we are making, we will try to find our new path and pace of development, which we hope will take us to a better place. But we are aware that the initial phase of the season will probably be quite tough, given how we pushed at the end of last year and how profound are the changes we made this winter.

"It is natural that this will push the correct development towards the end of the season. It is a conscious choice that we have made, even if in the short term it could be harmful. We are trying to build a new project and build it for the long term."

Check out our VCARB 01 gallery, here.

Article from Pitpass (http://www.pitpass.com):

Published: 12/02/2024
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