Red Bull’s 2021 Formula 1 car - the RB16B - has made its first on-track appearance following its launch at Silverstone.

Max Verstappen and new signing Sergio Perez put the RB16B challenger through its paces for the first time on Wednesday as part of a shakedown test, with Red Bull carrying out one of its permitted filming days. 

Perez was first to try out the RB16B, completing a series of trouble-free runs around Silverstone's national circuit layout, before handing it over to Verstappen. 

The Mexican said he could feel a noticeable "step" compared to the 2019-spec RB15 which he made his Red Bull debut in earlier in the week. 

“Driving a new car is always special – for the driver and also for the team," Perez said. "They have been working so hard through the winter, so to finally take the car on track, it’s quite an emotional day. I can say I think there is a lot of potential.

"The conditions were not great but it was nice to get a feeling for the car. It’s pretty exciting. Earlier this week I drove the RB15 but today I could feel a step in overall grip and top speed.”

While running for such promotional events is restricted to just 100km - or 17 laps around the Silverstone grand prix layout - it nonetheless gave Verstappen and Perez some valuable track time behind the wheel of their new car with the upcoming pre-season test in Bahrain cut back to just three days of running.

It also provided both drivers and the team important data about Honda's new power unit the Japanese manufacturer has fast-tracked into the evolution of last year’s RB16 ahead of its farewell from F1 at the end of the year.

“I started with the RB15 to just get a few laps in after the winter break and then I jumped into the RB16B," Verstappen added. "Days like today are all about getting comfortable with the car and with the new power unit, trying to make things run smoothly and trying to be well prepared before we go testing in Bahrain.

"It’s always good to be back driving a Formula 1 car and the first time you go out of the pits is such a great feeling.”

Red Bull hopes its latest challenger will address the issues it faced with its predecessor and give Mercedes its hardest fight yet in the V6 turbo-charged hybrid era as it gears up for the new campaign.

Reserve driver Alex Albon was also in action for the team, driving the 2019 RB15 throughout the day.

“It’s always great to see a new car hit the track for the first time and to see the drivers get their first laps in," said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. "Today is for filming but allows us to make sure all the basics are functioning well before it all gets packed up and sent out to Bahrain and in that regard today was a success.

"It was good also to have Alex here driving the RB15 along with Max. It’s important for Alex to stay sharp as he’s going to play a crucial role in the development of RB16B.”

Meanwhile, Red Bull’s sister team AlphaTauri ran its 2021 F1 car, the AT02, for the first time on Wednesday, with Pierre Gasly and rookie Yuki Tsunoda taking turns in driving the AT02 for its maiden outing at Imola before pre-season testing on 12-14 March.

Tsunoda also carried out a day of unrestricted running in a 2018-spec STR14 - sporting AlphaTauri’s 2021 livery - on Tuesday at the venue that will host this year’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as he continues to get up to speed ahead of his F1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix on 28 March.