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Formula One teams set to unveil radical new look

PARIS (AFP) – Formula One will be showing off its new look when Red Bull, who carried Max Verstappen to a controversial maiden title last year, start the annual catwalk season by unveiling their 2022 car today.

The interest will be ramped up this year because changes in Formula One rules mean, as Mike Elliott, the technical director of world champion constructors Mercedes, told his team web site: “The cars are going to look very different.”

While Red Bull will not be quite the first team to launch, it will be the first with a car, its RB18 model, on display.

Haas, who spent last season on the back row of the grid, released their livery on Friday but, as is their habit, will not unveil the car until pre-season testing in Barcelona, on February 23-25.

Red Bull, after a winter spent glorying in the title Verstappen snatched on the closing laps of last season, are promising “a “launch like no other”.

Drivers take the start of the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit. Photo: AFP

It would, the team promised, “push the boundaries by disrupting the traditional car launch”, and, showing Red Bull is on the cutting edge of social media jargon, allow fans to “curate and host” the launch. As usual the paint-jobs and drivers will attract attention, particularly when last year’s incredulous losers, Mercedes unveil their W13 model on February 18.

On Saturday, Lewis Hamilton seemed to answer questions about whether he will return to seek revenge on Verstappen.

He tweeted a photo of himself, on what looked like the rim of the Grand Canyon, with the caption: “I’ve been gone. Now I’m back!”

Mercedes had already made the most significant off-season seat switch, signing 23-year-old Briton George Russell permanently from Williams.

The team livery has also attracted interest after speculation that the Silver Arrows will drop the black paint Hamilton favours.