Adrian Newey, Red Bull’s technical consultant, admits he remains astonished by the lead his team maintained last year, enabling Max Verstappen to win every Formula 1 race of the season… except one.
The Brit reflects on the 2022 single-seater, the RB18, which ultimately laid the groundwork for this ground effect era.
“With the RB18, the first car to comply with the new regulations, I believe we managed to set the fundamentals in terms of how we approached the research process, the car’s architecture, in terms of setup, etc.”
“We managed to produce a decent F1 car that we then developed throughout 2022. And obviously, we had a very good second half of the season in 2022.”
“In 2023, the second season of these new regulations, we fully expected the grid to close up. That’s what happened behind us. But we kept a nice advantage. So last year, it took us all, especially me, by surprise. We really did not expect the dominance we had.”
“For this year, from what I understand, many of our rivals have sort of taken a good look this time at what needs to be done, and I suspect there will be quite a few F1 cars that will look a lot like ours.”
Newey concedes, however, that the competition was close by the end of the year.
“The grid was tight and the races were getting tighter. Take Austin, we almost lost. So we took a gamble and brought Max in for an extra stop, and Max did the rest.”
“So, at the end of the season, even though we managed to win everything except Singapore, everyone was following us. So it doesn’t take much over the winter for things to change this season. There’s a lot of pressure.”
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