Red Bull are not confident of similar dominance in 2023

Jamie Woodhouse
Max Verstappen, Red Bull, during the Italian Grand Prix. FIA Monza, September 2022.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen during the Italian Grand Prix. Monza, September 2022.

With regulation tweaks coming for 2023, and less wind tunnel time for Red Bull, the team is not certain it will remain the dominant force.

An overhaul to the regulations swept through Formula 1 for 2022, with Red Bull and Ferrari establishing themselves as the pacesetters.

Red Bull though have taken firm control of both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ standings, which for a time was largely due to Ferrari’s inability to iron out the mistakes and make the most of their F1-75.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has now though reeled off five victories in succession, the RB18 in his hands seemingly unbeatable over a race distance at this stage.

 

 

Verstappen could potentially secure the title at the next round in Singapore, which would see him become a two-time World Champion.

So, could this be the start of a fresh era of Red Bull dominance? Well, the team are not so sure.

In a bid to further control the bouncing habit of some of the challengers, known as ‘porpoising’, which proved particularly troublesome in the earlier rounds of the season, regulation changes are coming for 2023 which will target the floors on the cars.

Plus, due to the sliding scale on R&D time, it means that Red Bull, as the Constructors’ champions, would receive the least amount of windtunnel time of all teams to develop their upcoming challenger.

As quoted by Motorsport.com, Red Bull’s chief engineer Paul Monaghan said: “Next year we have some rule changes and we have less resources than our rivals in terms of aerodynamics or hours of wind tunnel and CFD use because of our results in the Constructors’ Championship.

“I could counter-argue that we have the best people in our factory, but that’s perhaps a bit of an egocentric view.

“So, I’m not sure that this year’s performance can be carried over to 2023, I can’t say that the home straight of this season will be beneficial for us next year.

“We have to move at least at the pace of our rivals. We have to manage the rule changes for floor edge height well, as well as the change in stiffness, trying to lose less than our rivals or at least the same amount.

“Obviously I think we will still be competitive next year. But if the question is whether we can repeat what we’re doing right now, I’m not sure.

“We’ll do the best job we can with some of the best people in the pitlane, and then we’ll judge what we’ve been able to do after one, two or three races, won’t we?”

Red Bull dominance would be bad look for Formula 1

Formula 1’s history shows a trend of certain teams ruling the roost over multi-season spans, think Michael Schumacher and Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull and most recently Mercedes as the prime example, the Silver Arrows on a streak of eight Constructors’ titles in a row which is now coming to an end.

The problem for Formula 1 now though is that their rules have been designed to significantly reduce the chances of a particular team becoming the consistent dominant force.

There is a budget cap, this R&D scale and the mass changes to the 2022 regulations, all designed to bunch up the pack and allow cars to follow more closely, creating a higher number of overtaking opportunities.

So, if after all this we still see Red Bull school the field for the rest of this campaign and 2023, then it will start to make all these changes which Formula 1 spoke so highly of, look like a bit of a flop.