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  • Red Bull boss reveals doubts with the package when Mercedes unveiled a 'zero-sidepod' concept last season
ed Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner looks on from the pitwall prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 05, 2023 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Red Bull boss reveals doubts with the package when Mercedes unveiled a 'zero-sidepod' concept last season

Red Bull aced the 2022 regulation change by designing an efficient car that went on to dominate the season. The RB18 was a class ahead of its competitors winning 17 of the 22 races and winning the constructor's title by a huge margin.

However, before the season began, team principal Christian Horner revealed that they entered the 2022 season with modest expectations. Coming off a titanic championship battle in 2021, the team faced one of the biggest regulation changes in F1.


The Red Bull boss revealed in an interview with the inews:

"The expectation coming into ‘22 with the biggest chassis regulation change in probably 30 years was actually pretty modest."

The radical side-pod design introduced by Mercedes in the Bahrain test made the Austrian team rethink its design philosophy. Horner admitted in the interview:

"Mercedes turned up with a car that looked unlike any others. And you think have we missed the target here? They have seen something in the regulations that we haven’t. Is this going to embarrass us?"

However, the dust settled quickly as Mercedes engineers were left scratching their heads at the end of the pre-season test. While the German team continues to face repercussions for its design choices, Red Bull have knocked the team out of its perch.


The Milton-Keynes outfit is now the pace-setter, with many other mid-field teams trying to emulate its design. Even with the fastest car in their garage, team boss Christian Horner is not willing to bask in the glory of their achievement. He is wary of the ever-present danger of the random variable.

The 49-year-old added:

"There is always something, always a technical directive that drops, a game changer. You can guarantee that the others will be scheming, ‘how can we slow them down’. It’s part of the game. Having lived through it before you become more seasoned in how to ride it out."

Even with the cautious outlook of the team principal, Red Bull are the favorites to win both titles.


Christain Horner weighs in on the driver dynamic at Red Bull

In a strong display of pace, Sergio Perez won the second race of the season at Jeddah. Both Perez and teammate Max Verstappen were vying for the fastest lap, with the latter snatching it on the final lap to maintain the lead in the drivers' championship.

In the interview, Christian Horner dismissed any lack of harmony between the two drivers after the race. He said that both drivers were free to chase the fastest lap point.

"In future races we could expect fastest lap attempts from both Max and Checo in the closing lap"

Bernie Collins, former Aston Martin Head of Race Strategy, takes a closer look at one of the talking points in Jeddah

#SaudiArabianGP #F1Unlocked

Praising Sergio Perez, Horner added that the Mexican driver could challenge for the championship if he can sustain such performances over the season. Red Bull boss Horner said:

"He is driving better and better and finding his confidence. The biggest challenge for Checo is sustaining that over 23 events because that is where Max has become so strong over the last few years with the relentless consistency that he has."

Unlike the previous season, this year's title battle will revolve around the Red Bull duo.

Edited by
Yash Singh
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