Just one week before revealing Max Verstappen’s new RB19, Red Bull have teased a “blank canvas” livery that has fans speculating about a refreshed 2023 design.
The Formula 1 World Champions are set to reveal the machine Verstappen and Sergio Perez will pilot for their defence of the Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles on February 3, with a launch event planned in New York.
The RB18 will be a tough act to follow after the Austrian team’s 2022 concept sped into the history books as one of F1’s most dominant cars, propelling Verstappen to a single-season record of 15 Grand Prix victories.
We’ll have to wait until the Bahrain pre-season tests to begin on February 23 for a slight indication of the new Red Bull’s pace but fans are wasting no time speculating about its aesthetics.
The teaser released by Red Bull on Friday shows an all-white RB19, the livery completely untouched apart from their title sponsor’s trademark charging bull. The social media post is simply captioned: “Blank canvas.”
The Austrian team’s design has only undergone minor tweaks since their inception in 2005; their deep blue, yellow and red colourway becoming a staple of 21st Century motorsport. Including a flash or purple or an extra helping of red has been their biggest deviation in 17 years.
However, the “blank canvas” post has reminded fans of some celebrated one-off liveries Red Bull have sported down the years.
The 92-time Grand Prix winners’ special edition white designs have been especially popular. Max Verstappen piloted a livery inspired by the Japanese flag to second-place at Turkey 2021, when Red Bull paid tribute to outgoing engine supplier Honda.
The design retained the standard red and yellow trim while turning everything that was royal blue to white, except the rear wing and Halo. Verstappen and Perez also suited up in special white overalls for the weekend.
There were one-off white liveries in 2008 and 2012 that went for a more drastic redesign, honouring the late Dietrich Mateschitz’s Wings for Life charity. The “Camobull” livery splashed over the RB11 during 2015 pre-season testing was another well-loved concept, featuring a black and white zebra-like design that sadly never saw a Grand Prix grid.
Reacting to Red Bull’s “Blank Canvas” teaser, Robin Riha commented: “Keep it white! Just keep it white! Just like for Japan GP 2021,” and msportbanter adding: “All I’m saying is that this would be very nice to run in the actual races.”
Daniel Ricciardo fan @ricciardos_smile said: “Bring back the blue camo livery please,” referencing the 2018 “Disruptobull” blue, black and white digital camouflage design Red Bull ran during Silverstone tests in 2018.
Others were less optimistic, Sam Brown commenting: “It’s gonna just be the same ain’t it.”
After 17 years of much of the same design, it would be surprising to see Red Bull make a departure from their signature look. But perhaps they could be cooking up something special to celebrate last season’s clean-sweep of the championships?
We’ll find out on February 3…maybe.