An interesting article over at Autosport about Red Bull’s media release package using images of their older car and avoiding any images of their new car, the RB16B.
As the article points out, Red Bull released several press images after running their older car and the new car but none of the images included were of the new RB16B. Just shots of the older car.
As the article points out, this isn’t by mistake and most likely was done to prevent competitors from seeing their latest innovations. Autosport argues that the rear of the car and suspension design is the most likely culprit that they want to keep under wraps until the first test.
What this does make me wonder is if the traditional car launch, which used to be full of pomp and circumstance and later became a low-key online affair. We’ve seen for years now that the car used in many car launches is a bit of a show car and is mainly used to show the livery and paint schemes with the actual new challenger fully revealed at the first test.
If this is the case and a team like Red Bull isn’t going to give the fans a look at their new car, what is the point of a formal car launch until the first test and if that’s the case, could they make a official car launch day at the first test with all the press there, lots of fun events etc? Maybe get some of that panache back into the car launch instead of just streaming pictures and interviewing drivers?
Sure, teams want to be isolated and make their launch the news of the day and I get that. They wouldn’t want to share their launch with other teams. But if they aren’t going to actually launch their new car until the first test, what’s the point?
I’d like F1 to take a new, fresh look at car launches and come up with something more exciting than hiding your car and waiting until the first test or just streaming video of driver interviews and a “show car” pushed around a stage. Surely we could do more for the world’s most advanced form of racing?