Haas are set to kick off the Formula 1 launches ahead of the 2023 season, with the team due to unveil their new livery – rather than the actual car – on 31 January. A slightly new look is expected, given the recent addition of new main title sponsor MoneyGram. Three days later, Red Bull will host their launch of the RB19 in New York. But why have the Milton Keynes-based outfit chosen to travel to the other side of the Atlantic for the event?
In recent years, Formula 1's popularity has skyrocketed in the United States. Red Bull have also felt this, with major US software company Oracle currently acting as the team's title sponsor. Although Oracle's headquarters are in Texas, the distance is still closer than if the squad were to launch the RB19 in the UK. This means that key figures from Oracle can attend the event more easily.
Red Bull have opted to launch in New York, the city that famously never sleeps. The views of the city skyline will surely make for some striking pictures. Over the years, the team have become known for their show runs across a range of locations. Could we see one of the squad's challengers hitting the streets of New York? It wouldn't be the first time this has happened after all; Sergio Perez previously took his Red Bull for a spin around the city in 2022, while Sebastian Vettel previously tested out the streets in 2012.
Will Red Bull actually reveal the RB19?
Another question is whether Red Bull will reveal their real 2023 car. After all, it would be an expensive task to ship the vehicle to New York, and testing is still three weeks away. Is the car finished at all? In 2022, we did not get to see the real RB18 at the squad's launch, which took place on 9 February. So will they show it now? Could there be another show car unveiled this time around, or might Red Bull spring a surprise?
It could be that Red Bull's main reason for travelling to the United States is to do with the unveiling of a new partnership. Rumours have persisted that Christian Horner's team may reveal a collaboration with a carmaker for the new engine era being introduced into F1 in 2026. In that case, Ford is the prime candidate, as they are, after all, American, have competed in Formula 1 in various forms in the past and have previously hinted at their interest in a return. And, of course, a partnership with a team like Red Bull is never bad for PR. Is this why Max Verstappen has to make the trip from Monaco to New York for the event? Or is it simply to take the canvas off his brand new car, so that the new RB19 with the New York skyline has a nice backdrop? All should become clear on 3 February.