Horner ‘surprised’ by early performance of 2022 cars

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen and Christian Horner watch the screen. Barcelona February 2022

Red Bull World Champion Max Verstappen and team boss Christian Horner looking up at the data screen. Barcelona February 2022

Christian Horner was surprised by “how much performance” was seen from the all-new cars on the opening day of pre-season testing.

Red Bull’s RB18 with its radical sidepods was finally revealed to the world, and Red Bull’s rivals, on Wednesday on the opening morning at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The car, driven by Max Verstappen on the day, caught the attention of the paddock, even Lewis Hamilton talking a walk past the Red Bull garage to have a closer look.

But while the car wowed in the looks department, it didn’t set the timesheets alight.

Verstappen finished the day ninth quickest, his 1:22.246 over two seconds down on pace-setter Lando Norris in the McLaren.

But, as has been said many times, the lap times in pre-season testing count for very little, it is more about reliability and understanding the car.

The times on Wednesday were in general a long way off what was seen the last time Formula 1 visited the Circuit de Catalunya for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix.

That weekend Lewis Hamilton took pole position with a 1:16.741 while Verstappen set the fastest race lap time, a 1:18.149.

But given that the cars are 43kgs heavier than last year’s cars, that is to be expected.

Horner, though, was still pleasantly surprised by the pace of the cars in their very first on-track outing.

“I think it is already surprising how much performance these cars have got,” the Red Bull team boss said as per thesportsrush.

“They are certainly not going to be lacking in the high-speed corners. It’s been an encouraging start getting to know our RB18.”

“It’s always interesting to see the cars for the first time after what is such a big regulation change – and in what are pretty prescriptive regulations, to have such a variance, it’s fascinating to see how the teams are interpreting these rules.


“Of course, there will be convergence over a period of time, but we certainly have some very varied themes between the teams, and it is going to be pretty fascinating to see how it plays out.

“I am sure they will all look very different by the time we get to [the final race of the season in] Abu Dhabi.”


PlanetF1 Verdict


Horner 'surprised' by early performance of 2022 cars

Christian Horner is surprised with the early performance of the new 2022 cars.