The new regulations introduced at the beginning of the 2022 season would have left all teams worried about whether their development path was the right one, as the rules are open to interpretation.
Some teams entered the Bahrain test without sidepods, while others showed off innovative wing designs, all looking to outdo their rivals.
After a dismal start with a double DNF at the season opener in Bahrain, Red Bull secured both championships with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez displaying a terrifying level of consistency never before seen. I rushed in.
Verstappen wrapped up the drivers’ championship at Suzuka and the team moved the constructors’ championship back to Milton Keynes in Austin, dominating the first year of F1’s new era.
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Despite the team’s dominance, Verstappen admitted he had doubts about what Red Bull could achieve in 2022 due to major regulation changes.
“Honestly, it was a very big question mark. We had no idea where we were going because of the new regulations,” he explained.
“Everything looked fine in the wind tunnel and calculations, but I don’t know what other people have discovered. Did they find a trick?
“When the car entered the grid in Bahrain, [for the pre-season photoshoot]there were so many different ideas for taking pictures, but you were like, ‘Did we do the right thing?
It looked like Ferrari to lose the title early in the season as the Scuderia boasted the fastest car while Red Bull struggled.
Verstappen claims the car’s design was fine and allowed Ferrari to outdo them, instead paring down the early struggles into the weight of the RB-18.
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“The initial problem was that I was a lot overweight and didn’t get the full potential of the car, but over time we were able to get rid of that and the car became really lively. he explained.
“Upgrades have helped, but mainly weight [was the problem]”
With Red Bull deprived of 10% of its wind tunnel testing time in 2023 as punishment for violating its cost cap in 2021, the Dutchman has warned that his team will have more control over car design in the same way Mercedes and Ferrari are about to rise. I’m hoping I can get a spot. There will be a more serious title challenge next season alongside the energy drink giant.