Visa Cash App Red Bull Formula 1 sounds like the answer to a hypothetical question in a multiverse. Its abbreviation VCARB, however, sounds like a performance test (VMax, VO2) or a blood panel finding (lipids, cholesterol, VCARBs), and we kinda dig it. The VCARB team, formerly known as Toro Rosso and then Alpha Tauri, introduced its first car today, the VCARB 01, in Las Vegas.
Everyone has noted its visual similarities to Red Bull’s championship-winning RB19 from last year, especially in the sidepods. Racing News 365 went so far as to say, “Calling the new VCARB-01 a clone of the RB19 may be considered an understatement,” calling out everything from the front suspension’s pull-rods to the rear suspension’s gearbox connections as cloned from the senior Red Bull car. One of the questions lurking underneath the assertion is, if this is how far the junior team pushed last year’s Red Bull, how much further will Red Bull take the RB20?
The second thing everyone’s noticed: Wow, the color. Alpha Tauri’s blue and white scheme was always an easy one to spot last year, the VCARB 01 will be like Rio’s Carnival at 200 miles per hour. Good for them and good for us. As with Williams F1’s FW46, some of the colors serve historical purposes, these particular shades of blue and silver looking back to Toro Rosso.
With a new backer, a new name, more money, and new executives in all key positions, VCARB wants to free itself from the perception that it couldn’t fulfill its promise. Said CEO Peter Bayer, who replaced longtime CEO Franz Tost, “There’s only 10 Formula 1 teams in the world, and people definitely know that we are one of them. With all the things we do to establish a strong identity, I am sure that we will soon be perceived as VCARB, [and] on the grid as one of the competitors that wants to fight for the top of the midfield and has a great lineup.”
The team’s finished higher than eighth in the Constructor’s Championship just once in the last five years, in 2020 when it came sixth. With the series leaders being Red Bull, Mercedes, and Ferrari, and considering the recent rise of McLaren, the top of the midfield would mean coming in fourth or fifth, a feat never achieved in any incarnation of the team.
We’ll begin to see some results of the shakeup at the Faenza, Italy, squad in about 12 days when testing begins.