Red Bull’s new sculpted sidepods hit the track

Michelle Foster
Sergio Perez in the revised RB18 with the sculptured sidepods in testing. Bahrain March 2022

The much-anticipated Red Bull upgraded package hit the track at the Sakhir circuit on Saturday, featuring revised sidepods and a new floor.

Both Mercedes and Red Bull were said to be taking significant upgrades to the official Bahrain test, last year’s championship two pushing the envelope.

But while Mercedes didn’t disappoint, the reigning Constructors’ Champions debut a zero-pod W13 with an extreme mirror assembly on the opening day, Red Bull made us wait.

And then they made us all wait a bit more, the upgraded RB18 hidden by screens for the first 50 minutes of Saturday morning’s actions.

Sergio Perez then left the pits, showing off the Red Bull’s new sidepods.

While it is by no means Mercedes’ zero-pod, Red Bull have also shaved off bodywork, the new sculpted sidepods dipping down and dipping in.

Perez spoke about the update on Friday, saying Red Bull would not be taking the same path as Mercedes.

“No, we are not going that way,” he said. “But I think everything will be there tomorrow, hopefully, and we are able to run it for the final day.

“We are so focused on our stuff for now. You know this short time period of testing, we are just fully onto our stuff.”

The floor has also been tweaked.

 

Perez obviously liked it, the Mexican driver immediately putting in the fastest lap time of the morning to lead at the one-hour mark.

His 1:34.733 was a tenth up on Pierre Gasly’s fastest time in the AlphaTauri.