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Red Bull reveals RB20 car for 2024 F1 season

Red Bull has revealed the RB20 car it will use in the 2024 Formula 1 season, which appears set to include design ideas previously discarded by Mercedes.

Red Bull Racing RB20

Red Bull Content Pool

As could be seen in the spy shots captured at Silverstone's on-site hotel during Red Bull's shakedown running on Tuesday, the RB20 unveiled on Thursday features long cooling gulleys that run backwards from the halo along the length of its engine cover.

This appears to be very similar to the design Mercedes used on its W14 2023 car, even after it abandoned its 'zeropod' sidepod design to take up Red Bull's widely adopted downwash solution.

The similarities with the W14 do not appear to stop there with the launch specification of the RB20, which Red Bull is set to use for the Bahrain test next week and season opener next month, although team boss Christian Horner did not rule out changes in that timeframe when asked about such a possibility.

The RB20 unveiled on Thursday appears to also have a vertical sidepod radiator inlet, under even more heavily undercut sidepods than the RB19. This was first seen on Mercedes' first 'zeropod' car, the W13.

But the RB20 does retain the downwash sidepod solutions further down, while its nose and other front-end parts appear similar to those Red Bull was running at the end of last season.

Red Bull Racing RB20

Red Bull Racing RB20

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

The floor bolted onto the RB20 for the launch event is noticeably bigger and simpler than the complex and critical Venturi tunnel floors required for F1's current ground-effect rules.

However, this is likely a ruse aimed at keeping the car's most important aerodynamic device secret from rival squads for as long as possible before 2024 testing begins.

The much-discussed Mercedes-like elements underneath the RB20's sidepods could similarly be an attempt to sow confusion – reminiscent of the then Alfa Romeo-branded squad releasing launch images of its 2023 car with a fake floor edge last year.

The RB20's livery contains no notable differences from the RB19, nor the seven previous Red Bull designs since its current colour scheme was adopted back in 2016, bar the shade of yellow the team incorporated in its livery becoming darker back in 2017.

Speaking at the RB20's launch, Horner said: "It's an evolution of last year's car, obviously, and it's our 20th version.

Red Bull Racing RB20

Red Bull Racing RB20

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

"The guys haven't been [sitting still], it's not conservative, and you can see they've been quite aggressive in certain areas and still pushing the boundaries.

"I'm conscious that our opponents are still pushing very hard and I've seen a few cars that have been released that look similar in theme to what we launched with last year.

"You can see that all the men and women behind the scenes have been working very hard [on the RB20] and some of the detail on the car is absolutely exquisite."

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez also offered their thoughts on the RB20's design.

Verstappen told reporters that after he had first seen the car's initial design drawings at last year's Abu Dhabi season finale his reaction was, "wow, that's quite different in a way" and he was "quite happy with the direction that they chose".

Red Bull Racing RB20

Red Bull Racing RB20

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Perez said: "You wouldn't imagine us changing the concept as much and I think it's really brave from Red Bull to do that."

There was no mention of the investigation into allegations currently overhanging Horner, which he denies, at the launch event's stage element, but questions on the situation from media including Autosport were restricted as it remains an ongoing legal matter.

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