Red Bull’s 2022 preparations have reportedly faced a setback with claims that their RB18 “would not have passed” the mandatory FIA crash tests.
However, the good news for Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez is that technical guru Adrian Newey is said be unconcerned about having to strengthen the design.
Winning last year’s Drivers’ Championship title, Red Bull reserve driver Alex Albon revealed that at one point late in the season the Milton Keynes squad “stopped” working on their 2022 car in order to put all their effort into Verstappen’s championship quest.
It is a decision that, at least for 2021 paid off with the Dutchman winning the World title with a final-lap pass on Lewis Hamilton at the title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
It is one, though, that raised questions about 2022 and whether the team’s preparations had been dealt a blow. Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko was quick to deny that.
“Albon’s statements were misinterpreted,” the Red Bull advisor told F1 Insider. “All I can say is that we want to defend Max Verstappen’s title and are very well positioned to do so.
“We had two different development programs running in 2021. Both worked.”
But with that in mind, it has emerged quite late in their pre-season preparations that Red Bull’s 2022 car, the RB18, failed a crash test.
The Italian edition of Motorsport.com reports that the car “would not have passed the earlier crash test for chassis homologation.
“At Cranfield, where the British teams converge for dynamic tests, Red Bull would have registered a failure in the front of the car that would force Milton Keynes’s team to review the ability to absorb energy from the nose and the chassis in the front.”
It is not all bad news as the reports adds that the problem “does not worry Adrian Newey’s technicians” even though it means they need to strengthen the design, and do so just a month before pre-season testing begins.
This year Formula 1 is introducing all-new cars, the sport adopting ground effect aerodynamics in the hope that it will make it easier for the cars to follow, and therefore lead to closer racing.
Many pundits are predicting Red Bull, with Newey at the helm – a designer famously said to be able to “see air” – could have an advantage over the chasing pack with the new regulations.
For now, though, fans may have to wait a bit to see the Newey design as the changes that he has to make to the RB18 could delay the team’s launch.
Red Bull, Mercedes 'unfazed ' after crash test failures
Red Bull and Mercedes have reportedly failed FIA crash tests, but they are not concerned.