February 4, 2019 / 3:08 PM / 5 months ago

Red Bull and Mercedes to launch 2019 F1 cars on same day

LONDON (Reuters) - Red Bull will give a first glimpse of their new Honda-powered RB15 Formula One car next week on the same day that world champion Lewis Hamilton’s 2019 Mercedes breaks cover at Silverstone.

Former champions Red Bull, who finished third overall behind champions Mercedes and Ferrari last year, have switched from Renault power units to Honda for the season starting in Australia on March 17.

They also have a changed line-up, with Australian Daniel Ricciardo now donning yellow Renault overalls and replaced by young Frenchman Pierre Gasly alongside Dutch driver Max Verstappen.

Verstappen, 21, won two races last year and will be hoping Honda provide a reliable and powerful engine after the manufacturer’s return to Formula One with McLaren ended in divorce at the end of 2017.

Honda supplied Red Bull’s junior team Toro Rosso last year.

Red Bull announced the Feb. 13 date on the team’s Twitter feed, without details. Mercedes have already said they will run their W10 car for the first time in a private shakedown session that day.

Racing Point, the team formerly known as Force India before being taken over by a Canadian consortium led by the billionaire father of racing driver Lance Stroll, will also present their new team branding in Toronto on Feb 13.

Formula One starts pre-season testing at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya on Feb. 18, which will be the first chance to see the new cars together on track.

The team launches kick off this week, with U.S.-owned Haas first out with their new livery in London on Thursday before Toro Rosso on Feb. 11.

Fourth-placed Renault show off their new car at their Enstone factory in central England on Feb. 12, with McLaren removing the covers at Woking on Feb. 14. Ferrari have an online reveal on Feb. 15.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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