Season overview: Red Bull Racing

In the first year after the change of regulations, Red Bull Racing dominated Formula 1 and started another successful streak – it will be difficult for rivals to interrupt it …

the Grand Prize Place Glasses Best start Best workmanship
Max Verstappen 22 a 454 a a
Sergio Perez 22 3 305 a a
Red Bull races
the Grand Prize Place Glasses Best start Best workmanship
2022 22 a 759 a a
2021 22 2 585.5 a a
2020 17 2 319 a a
2019 21 3 417 a a
2018 21 3 419 a a

Success in Formula 1 is always relative – some fall back, others take their place, but Red Bull Racing’s success in 2022 was unconditional. Mercedes fell back, Ferrari made mistakes, but the first-place winners in the Constructors’ Championship were ahead of their competitors in literally everything.

In 2021, the team fought for the title in the individual competition with Mercedes to the last, taking victory in the last round of the last Grand Prix. At the time, many believed that this victory would weaken the team, which was constantly refining the team that did not even have its own RB16B index, but work on the new RB17 had long been underway – Red Bull Racing didn’t sacrifice long-term success for Verstappen’s first title, although pretty much anticipated for them.

Work on the 2022 car started before the regulations were published, and with its release it only accelerated, and there was plenty of time for that given the year-long delay in the introduction of new regulations due to Covid -19. There were no budget restrictions yet, the team always had enough money. Red Bull were well aware that if they successfully spent the first year following the rule change it would be extremely difficult to knock them off the pedestal. That’s the nature of Formula 1. When everyone takes a step forward season after season, the leader remains the one who was ahead.

Honda mechanics also did a great job getting the most out of their powerplant, which was used as a “Red Bull Powertrains product” in 2022, even though it was manufactured and maintained in Japan by Japanese specialists. And to develop future engines, Red Bull Powertrains lured leading experts from Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrain, which had a double effect: weakening Mercedes and strengthening Red Bull.

Many responded to the creation of Red Bull Powertrains in two ways. It is not yet a fact that the company will produce engines independently in the future, as it is now proclaimed, but it was possible to evade significant amounts of money from the financial control of the FIA ​​already in the first year, making it possible to employ employees of lure competitive teams with a salary that is much higher than the market. Mercedes simply could not offer comparable financial terms to HPP employees, as their engine division was already counted by the FIA, and Red Bull Powertrains was not, as it did not exist at the time.

In Formula 1, however, it has always been that way.

During winter testing the car was fast and reliable, Newey managed to avoid the build-up problems that ruined the lives of many this year. But the first race with changing regulations rarely goes without problems. It was the same with Red Bull. In Bahrain, both riders were unable to finish due to problems with their own fuel pump design.

Then Verstappen retired due to a fuel leak in Melbourne – the car caught fire, firefighters intervened and after the race, losing 46 points to Charles Leclerc, Max told the team he would need 45 races to recoup. But everything turned out to be much easier.

After resolving reliability issues, Red Bull began winning consistently and never relinquished the initiative to rivals. Five of the next six races were won by Verstappen, one by his teammate Sergio Perez, after which the battle was essentially over.

Yes, formally the whole second half of the season was still ahead, but the rivals had no chance to compete with Red Bull Racing. The car, power plant and team worked like clockwork, the drivers were fast and made no mistakes, and the mechanics were once again convincingly ahead of everyone in the pit stops.

Then there were annoying problems with financial compliance, but as with Ferrari engines in 2019, the matter was eventually put on the brakes.

Adrian Newey, Helmut Marko and Christian Horner

The information that Red Bull Racing violated financial regulations – this was the first violation after appearance – appeared in the German press in the summer. Someone shared with journalists, they hyped the rating topic and asked team leaders questions even before the FIA ​​report was published, which the Red Bull Racing management did not like at all.

No, everyone understood that honesty and good things cannot happen at the same time. If you have money, you find gray schemes to suit your lawyers – and then they deal with the FIA ​​auditors. But the world of Formula 1 is small. Everyone knows everything about everyone else, and realizing that they have been caught, they stubbornly refute the facts. It was the same with Red Bull.

The late Max Mosley would have shown no mercy in such a situation, but the new FIA president does not want conflict, so everything was fined. On the other hand, Red Bull Racing’s victory in the 2022 season was so convincing that there is no doubt that this is the best teamwork of the season. Admittedly, at the end of the year it was not without friction.

Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen

Sergio Perez spent 12 years in Formula 1 and 235 Grands Prix, winning four of them. In 2022 he won the first pole of his career.

Verstappen spent eight years in Formula 1, scoring 35 victories in 163 races and winning two championship titles. There was absolutely no doubt about who the team would bet on.

Verstappen is the unconditional number one in Red Bull Racing. But at the end of the season, when Max secured the title ahead of schedule and continued to win, the Mexican suddenly became indignant. In the course of the season, he indeed missed a partner enough.

It happened first in Sao Paulo, when Verstappen did not let him through on the last lap, although there was such an agreement. The Dutchman cited personal reasons and asked the team to stop contacting him with such requests. It soon became clear that in Monaco Perez would have admitted to Horner and Marco that he deliberately flipped the car during qualifying to prevent Max from adding. The FIA ​​even offered to investigate this incident if a formal protest is made.

Then, on the last lap in Abu Dhabi, Verstappen did not comply with Perez’s request to accelerate so that he could take advantage of the softer tires and maintain second place in the individual classification. And although this would have been the first time in history that the Red Bull Racing riders would have been first and second in the individual standings at the end of the season, Max didn’t sacrifice his race, which didn’t solve anything for him either.

After the season ended, Verstappen said some should have accepted second number status, as Valtteri Bottas did, speaking at Mercedes. Sergio was hurt to hear this, but at Red Bull Racing you shouldn’t expect otherwise.

The mechanism of winning races and titles worked out over the years will bring the team many more victories – and no one will change it because of the co-pilot’s wounded pride. So it was with Mark Webber, so it will be with Perez. In that case, they call Daniel Riccardo or Nick de Vries – and lose nothing from the replacement of the pilot.

Dietrich Mateschitz and Helmut Marko at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix

In 2023, Red Bull Racing will enter the season as the clear favourite. Ferrari has been weakened by a leadership change, Mercedes will have to make a big gap, but the champions will not sit still. Perhaps the changes should wait until the next rule change.

But they can happen much sooner. The death of the creator and driving force of the Red Bull project in Formula 1, Dietrich Mateschitz, has already led to changes in the management of the company, which will certainly be followed by changes in the team. Time will tell what they will be, but the new owners probably have different priorities than the two Austrians – Mateschitz and Marko, who started this project and made it mega-successful, although no one believed in it.

Source: F1 News

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