Ahead of the opening race of the 2017 Formula One season in Australia on March 26, we take a look at how each team is shaping up for the new campaign.
Here we assess whether Red Bull can pose a threat to the peerless Mercedes a this year.
HOW DID THEY PERFORM IN 2016?
Though controversial at the time, Red Bull's biggest success of last season was arguably recognising the talent of Max Verstappen and acting decisively to promote the teenager from sister team Toro Rosso.
Verstappen was a winner on his debut in Spain after replacing Daniil Kvyat and finished fifth in the drivers' standings thanks to six further podium finishes, the last of which came courtesy of a stunning drive in the wet at Interlagos.
Daniel Ricciardo's purple patch from Hungary to Mexico ensured plenty a 'shoey' was drunk in the second half of the season and ultimately made him the closest challenger to Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, earning his only win of the campaign in Malaysia.
Those performances were a vast improvement on 2015, with Red Bull's rebranded Renault power unit – now carrying the Tag Heuer logo – seemingly doing the trick for a team desperate to regain their place at the top of the sport.
THE 2017 LINE-UP
One of the most likeable drivers on the grid, Ricciardo enters his sixth full season as an F1 driver hoping his team can build on the progress of 2016. One win in two seasons is not enough for a man of Ricciardo's talent driving for a team of Red Bull's means. The Australian will be keen to avoid a repeat of the Monaco pit-stop mix-up that "screwed" his chances and temporarily wiped away Ricciardo's customary smile.
Verstappen fully justified Red Bull's decision to snap him up after four races of last season and his Barcelona victory – thanks in no small part to a collision between the two Mercedes – made him the youngest grand prix winner in the sport's history. His bold driving style drew the ire of some drivers – not least Sebastian Vettel – but his Brazilian masterclass, when he climbed from 16th to third in the space of 16 laps, was a joy to behold. Here's hoping we see more breathtaking performances from Verstappen in 2017.
THE TO-DO LIST
- Close the gap on Mercedes. Plain and simple. Advisor Helmut Marko reckons it will be midway through the season before Red Bull can challenge the defending champions, but changes to aerodynamics regulations have seen some tip the team as realistic challengers to F1's dominant force this season.
- Keep Verstappen firing. Verstappen requires minimal fine-tuning for a 19-year-old and his confidence behind the wheel is a huge part of his appeal. Few will question that he is a world champion in the making and he will be keen to outperform Ricciardo this season.
HOW WILL THEY FARE?
Ferrari's strong performances in testing have given Mercedes and Red Bull food for thought, with both Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen impressive in Barcelona.
Red Bull will, at the very least, be looking to remain in the top two, as anything less would represent a backwards step against their rivals at the top of the constructors' standings.
18 de octubre 2017
|Allegri not impressed despite crucial win|
|Svilar risks a lot – Mourinho was aware of Benfica youngster´s shortcomings|
|We played better against Atletico – Hazard|
|Job done for Mbappe and PSG after another big win|
|Colts QB Luck suffers setback in recovery from shoulder injury|
|Simeone maintains ´absolute´ belief in Atletico despite Qarabag draw|
|Mladenovic slump continues in Moscow, Kontaveit crashes out in Luxembourg|
|Louisville fires AD Tom Jurich amid pay-for-play scandal|
|CSKA Moscow 0 Basel 2: Xhaka, Oberlin do the damage|
|Juventus 2 Sporting CP 1: Late Mandzukic intervention saves wasteful Bianconeri|
|Bayern Munich 3 Celtic 0: Hoops outclassed on Heynckes´ return to Europe|
|Chelsea 3 Roma 3: Hazard brace rescues Conte´s men after Dzeko double|
|Anderlecht 0 Paris Saint-Germain 4: Mbappe takes one record as Cavani closes on another|
|Barcelona 3 Olympiacos 1:Ton-up for Messi as Pique sees red|
|Benfica 0 Manchester United 1: Rashford goal settles poor game after woeful Svilar error|
|Sopoaga replaces injured Barrett for Bledisloe clash|
|Messi joins Ronaldo in European 100-goal club|
|NFL commissioner Goodell hopes to get player protests to ´zero´|
|Good results are on the way in the league - Salah|
|Algeria restore Madjer to the helm|
|Griezmann eyes qualification despite Atleti´s Qarabag stumble|
|Inzaman´s nephew, Imam, makes debut century as Pakistan win ODI series|
|FA chief Glenn denies Aluko´s ´bordering on blackmail´ claim|
|Mbappe surpasses Kluivert as Champions League´s highest-scoring teenager|
|Ozil is a warrior - Pires sympathises with Arsenal star|
|Benfica teen Svilar breaks Casillas´ Champions League record against Man Utd|
|Balotelli can improve even more - Favre|
|It was special to face role model Modric, says Winks|
|Robben named for Champions League century|
|Portis banned for eight games after fight with Bulls team-mate Mirotic|
|You can´t question Arsenal´s character - Wenger hits back at Deeney|
|Qarabag 0 Atletico Madrid 0: Simeone´s side in trouble after shock draw|
|Peru Open shortened due to national census|
|Guardiola´s Catalonia stance dismissed by Spanish minister|
|Browns name DeShone Kizer starting QB once again|
|2018 NFL Draft to be held in Dallas|
|Laidlaw out of Autumn internationals with fractured leg|
|De Villiers smashes ODI best as Proteas seal series|
|Konta splits with coach and ends season|
|Rose: No desperation for Woods return|
|Top of the range - Spieth presents Birkdale with iconic three iron|
|Oldham appoint Wellens over Scholes, Seedorf|
|FA apologises over Sampson remarks to Aluko and Spence|
|F1 Raceweek: Hamilton on the brink, but Vettel has American pace - United States GP in numbers|
|Former Springbok Smith announces retirement|
|Montella willing to accept ´exaggerated´ Milan criticism|
|Red Bull developing early to avoid slow 2018 start, says Ricciardo|
|Napoli confirm Insigne adductor strain|
|Urawa Reds 1 Shanghai SIPG 0 (2-1 agg): Rafael Silva books Al Hilal decider|
|Not a tragedy if Italy miss World Cup, says Zola|
|Milner-Skudder undergoes surgery on injured shoulder|
|Hummels: Bayern players contributed to Ancelotti´s sacking|
|Dzeko considers Chelsea among Champions League contenders|
|Joshua desperate to show new skills to build a legacy|
|Cavani doesn´t need to be friends with Neymar|
|Te´o likely to miss England´s November internationals with ankle injury|
|Ozil and Sanchez committed to Arsenal, Mertesacker claims|
|Gatland targets Super Rugby role after 2019|
|Hazlewood confident over Ashes fitness despite missing Sheffield Shield opener|
|Don´t stress it - De Bruyne relaxed over initial Man City contract talks|
|Kerr laments Green injury after Warriors lose season opener|
|Nagelsmann´s path will lead to Bayern, says Heynckes|
|Stones satisfied with strong Manchester City showing|
|Rockets stun Warriors, Hayward suffers gruesome injury in Celtics loss|
|Irving and LeBron shaken by Hayward injury|
|Yankees level Astros series, Dodgers take 3-0 lead|
|Aldridge praises Popovich after Spurs renewal|
|Redknapp: Spurs boss Pochettino could manage Real Madrid|
|Wallabies to host three-Test series against Ireland|
|That will be hard to beat – Klopp revels in record win|