Christian Horner has revealed Red Bull’s weight-saving gains with the RB19 car were the key to the team’s dominance of the F1 2023 season.
Red Bull enjoyed the most dominant campaign in F1 history in 2023, winning all but one of the 22 races between March and November with Max Verstappen claiming 19 victories en route to a third successive World Championship.
Verstappen’s 19 wins in 2023 obliterated his 2022 record of 15, achieved with the RB18 design.
Red Bull reveal secret to F1 2023 success with RB19
Red Bull started the 2022 season with an overweight car after development of the RB18 was compromised by Verstappen’s titanic 2021 battle with Lewis Hamilton, with the team allocating huge resource to the 2021 car.
The team were heavily rumoured to have prepared a lightweight car for the second half of the 2022, but the B-spec chassis never appeared as Verstappen comfortably saw off the opposition.
However, Horner has admitted that Red Bull placed a large emphasis on shedding weight for 2023, revealing the car was 20 kilograms lighter this season.
He told Motorsport.com: “What you have to remember is that with the RB19, there were a large number of components that came from the RB18: gearbox, a large percentage of the suspension, and half of the chassis. It was effectively a cut-and-shut for this year.
“The most significant thing that we were able to address was the weight. We were so late going on to the new regs in 2021, because of that Championship battle, that the car in 2022 was a bit on the chunky side.
“But there were a great many carryover parts and some of the components have actually won, in Max’s case, 19 races this year and 15 last year, so the combination of the two: 34 races.
“It was a little bit everywhere. It was not one specific area that you could take the weight off. It was just marginal gains in all areas.
“I think that was probably the fundamental difference between the 2022 car and the 2023 car.”
Pressed on whether the Red Bull car was 20kg overweight in 2022, he said: “We were carrying that deficit for a large percentage of the year.”
Verstappen has won 44 of the last 66 races stretching back to the start of 2021 – 44 ironically being the chosen race number of Mercedes rival Hamilton, who was dethroned by the Red Bull driver in highly controversial circumstances in Abu Dhabi at the end of that season.