Red Bull have been on the heels of Mercedes for the majority of the turbo-hybrid era, but rarely have they been ahead. Two victories for Max Verstappen in 2020 were the highlights of the year and they will be buoyed on confidence after Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas at the season-ending event in Abu Dhabi - a track Mercedes have been unbeatable at in the past.
Ultimately, Red Bull were second best across the season but they are excited at the prospect of ending Mercedes' dominance in 2021. There are plenty of reasons as to why they can get things right and be a match for the mighty Mercedes.
Perez to play a crucial role
Sergio Perez has joined the team, replacing Alexander Albon who endured a difficult 2020 campaign. Perez knows he has it all to do against Verstappen but his job is to do what Albon and Pierre Gasly couldn't do, be close enough to give Mercedes a headache.
Albon and Gasly were fighting in the midfield which meant Red Bull were fighting two cars with one driver. With Perez on board, they hope his great race pace and tyre management can give them more strategical options to give them a stronger chance of winning.
There is pressure for Perez to deliver and prove his worth but he brings a decade of Formula 1 experience as well as a clear understanding of a Mercedes power unit.
A brand-new Honda engine
Honda will bow out of the sport at the end of the year but they have been working hard to bring forward a brand-new power unit for the start of the season.
They have threw everything at the 2021 engine with changes to the internal combustion engine, turbine and ERS in an attempt to close the gap to Mercedes.
There were few reliability issues for Honda last year and the hope is that this will be the case this season with the added performance to power Red Bull to the top step of the podium.
Getting on top of the tyres
A new structure of Pirelli tyre will be introduced this season and the teams and drivers who can master the new rubber early on will be set for success.
In an exclusive interview with RacingNews365.com Pirelli boss Mario Isola said Verstappen is one of the best drivers at getting the most out of the tyre, knowing when to push and how hard to push.
Perez has traditionally been very good with his tyre management too so Red Bull have two drivers who can work together to find the optimum working window of the new Pirelli rubber. If they can do this quicker than Mercedes, they will be in a good position to pounce on the world champions.
The Verstappen factor
Verstappen was just as impressive as Hamilton in 2020 and he is desperate to have a fighting chance of winning the championship.
At 23-years-old, he is already becoming the finished article with incredible speed at every event, great tyre management, skill and bravery and has ironed out the errors he used to make in wheel to wheel combat.
The Dutchman is a superstar in F1 and gets the most out of the car every time he hits the race track. Red Bull have the driver to win world titles, it's all down to their 2021 machine and whether they can start the season on par with Mercedes.