Despite a late start in development, Red Bull CEO Christian Horner believes the RB18 car could be the most successful car ever produced by the team.
The 2021 Formula One Championship was decided in the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi, where Red Bull driver Max Verstappen won by overtaking Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton on the final lap to claim a controversial victory. Throughout the campaign, the two teams have engaged in a fierce battle.
Despite a late start, Red Bull has dominated the 2022 Formula One season, winning 12 of the 16 races and claiming 16 podium finishes with six races remaining.
Horner was asked how he rated his team’s 2022 performance, and if he thought it was their best ever, in an interview with F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast “That’s what I’d say.
“We were operating at an incredible level in 2021, and we finally got a whiff of putting together a challenge for a world championship, and that was a 22-race championship bout, a heavyweight fight from race one to race 22.”
“What has been especially satisfying this year is that, despite the massive regulatory changes we had to go through coming into this year – and we honestly thought we had compromised this year by putting everything we had into last year – the team came up with an amazing car, a super car.
“Max has taken another step forward. Checo (Sergio Perez) has felt more like a member of the team this year, thanks to increased familiarity. To be sitting here with 12 Grands Prix won and 16 podiums has been an incredible season for us.”
Reward for effort
Horner credits the Red Bull team for producing such a great car in such a short period of time.
“We were probably the last team to switch over to the ’22 rules,” Horner said. “We pushed development through ’21 because once you have a sniff of a championship, you kick yourself if you don’t do everything you possibly can, which meant compromising ’22.
“While we were away fighting for the championship, the team in Milton Keynes worked tirelessly over the winter to develop the RB18, which has proven to be our most successful car to date.
“We were right there from the start. It was extremely rewarding for the entire team.”