The all-new Aston Martin-Red Bull Racing-TAG Heuer RB14 has been unveiled, with Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo taking the new car for a spin.
The RB14 wore a special edition livery for a filming day that coincided with the launch at Silverstone, and Ricciardo said he was happy with how it performed.
“It’s always hard to tell from a few laps, but the initial feeling is good,” he said.
“It’s not doing anything that scares me, and I can already feel that the rear of the car feels pretty settled, even in these poor conditions. Those are encouraging early signs.”
The livery may be a one-off, but the new lines are here to stay. Bodywork regulations always dominate the news cycle in the launch season – but 2018 has a bigger acreage of change than most years with the introduction of the halo and the new exclusion zones on the rear of the car.
Some years it’s difficult for the casual viewer to differentiate the new car from the old, but that isn’t going to be a problem this time around.
Driver opinion is divided about the halo, but Ricciardo said the new safety device caused him no problems – at least on track.
“I can see fine,” he said. “Before today I’d only done a couple of installs with the halo, so it was pretty new – but I really didn’t notice it was there.
“Honestly, unless there’s [trackside signage] above, I don’t see any issues at all on a flat track.
“It is a bit awkward to jump in and out – I’m probably going to pull an adductor! – but it’s OK. A small challenge, but we’ll get over it.”
The RB14 will hit the track in ‘race-ready’ livery at the season-opening Formula 1® 2018 Rolex Australian Grand Prix on 22-25 March 2018.
© Photographer/Red Bull Content Pool