Red Bull proud to produce “our best car” despite tight 2021 title fight – Newey

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In the round-up: Red Bull’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey says the team can be proud it produced its most dominant car ever for 2022 despite the close championship fight it was in the year before.

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In brief

RB18 ‘statistically our best car’ – Newey

Newey said the machine which won 17 of this year’s 22 races has to be regarded as Red Bull’s greatest so far, particularly given the circumstances of its development during 2021.

“Statistically, obviously, RB18 has been our best car,” he said in a video produced by the team. “It’s a car I think we can be very proud of in as much as we had a tight championship battle through ’21, obviously, so we kept developing the car well into the season.

“Of course, when you have limited resources, then if you’re putting research and development into that car, then that research and development you’re not putting into this brand new, very new car for the new regulations, which we knew were coming, obviously.”

Red Bull was later found to have exceeded the budget cap during the 2021 season, but the team has denied gaining any benefit by doing so.

Newey said they faced a “difficult balancing act” in prioritising the development of their current and new cars during 2021. “We focused on trying to get the fundamentals right, trying to get the package in the way that would including front and rear suspension, the layouts of the monocoque, the layouts of the radiators and so forth. So that we would have a package that hopefully, even if it didn’t start out as the quickest car, we could develop through the season.”

The team quickly got to grips with its initial problems with the car, he said. “In the pre-season testing, we were a little bit worried before we got there. We had already done a little bit of research and knew roughly what we need to do to improve it.

“So when we put the race one package on in Bahrain just before the race, then that catapulted us from definitely behind Ferrari to broadly level, let’s say. The car definitely had some weaknesses in the first half of the season, we still have some weaknesses of course, but we reduced those weaknesses, and certainly by the second half we had a fully competitive package.”

Horner ‘turned down Ferrari role’

Horner was reportedly approached to replace Binotto
Ferrari approached Christian Horner when it was seeking a replacement for Mattia Binotto as team principal for 2023, according to the Daily Mail.

The long-time team principal of Red Bull guided his team to both world championship titles in Formula 1 this year, bringing his total trophy haul with the team to 11 titles and 92 race wins.

Horner turned down Ferrari’s interest and the Scuderia instead opted for Frederic Vasseur, who will leave the equivalent position at Alfa Romeo to join Ferrari.

Before Vasseur was announced as Binotto’s replacement, Horner played down suggestions Ferrari had made an approach to him. “My commitment is very much with the Red Bull team,” he said. “I’ve been there since the beginning and we obviously have a very close attachment.”

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Maserati continue to lead Formula E testing

Formula E’s new era has begun
Single-seater returnee Maserati repeated their day one performance by topping both sessions on the second day of Formula E pre-season testing at Valencia.

Maximilian Guenther was fastest for the team by 0.359 seconds in the morning, heading DS Penske’s reigning champion Stoffel Vandoorne and Jaguar’s Mitch Evans.

It was the same top two in the afternoon, with a gap of 0.263s between Guenther and Vandoorne, with Nissan’s Norman Nato in third place.

Envision Racing’s Sebastien Buemi had a tricky day, only completing five laps in the morning and not setting a recorded lap time in the afternoon. NIO 333’s Dan Ticktum also failed to set a lap in the afternoon.

During the second session, a 24-lap race simulation took place.

FIA court rejects ACI’s appeal over Beganovic

The Automobile Club d’Italia has lost an appeal before the FIA’s International Court of Appeal (ICA) centred around the disqualification of Ferrari Driver Academy member Dino Beganovic from a race in June. The Prema racer went on to win the Formula Regional European championship despite being thrown out of the second race at Paul Ricard in June after his car failed post-race technical checks.

The disqualification was later overturned when Prema successfully appealed the penalty in the national court of appeal on September 9th, with the decision shared on September 30th. ACI, which organises FREC, notified the ICA 10 days later that it wanted to appeal that decision and so Beganovic was provisionally disqualified again until the court hearing.

But ACI was deemed to have not filed its intention to appeal in time, so the case was rejected by the ICA on procedural grounds. It ordered that ACI pay Prema’s legal fees and ruled that “the competent Sporting Authority to draw, as appropriate, the consequences of this ruling.

Beganovic is now set to regain the 18 points lost to the Paul Ricard penalty. His disqualification had no impact on the title fight as he he had already beaten Gabriele Mini to the crown by 40 points.

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Comment of the day

Red Bull’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey seems unfazed by the prospect of having the time to test his designs in the team’s wind tunnel and in Computational Fluid Dynamic programmes reduced next year off the back of both their title-winning 2022 campaign and also a penalty for exceeding F1’s 2021 budget cap.

Red Bull has a 30% reduction from F1’s baseline for wind tunnel and CFD hours in 2023 down to its table-topping position in the constructors’ championship. There’s then a further 7% decrease (in addition to a $7 million fine) as part of its penalty. Is there a reason why Newey is not concerned about such restrictive room for car development compared to opponents?

The ’23 car is 90% carried over with minimal changes outside of the floor height regs. As a result, the car was likely already pretty much done before the ruling came out. The only way this will matter is if the FIA introduce much more sweeping ‘third year’ reg changes and Red Bull cannot afford to do the development work alongside keeping the ’23 challenger competitive.

Adrian Newey understands aerodynamics and ground effect better than anyone else on the grid, but he still can’t design a competitive car if you only give him two blunt pencils and a dirty rubber…

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Max Jacobson, Steph90, John White and Reiter!

On this day in motorsport

Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-21, Jerez, 2006
This wasn’t the last time Alonso tested a largely blank F1 car in plain overalls after switching teams

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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6 comments on “Red Bull proud to produce “our best car” despite tight 2021 title fight – Newey”

  1. I would love to see if someone could photoshop all F1 cars in one season to matching colors. Nowadays there isn’t so much difference between how the car looks (last year was different) so it would be cool to really see how cars are desinged

  2. Ferrari approached Christian Horner when it was seeking a replacement for Mattia Binotto as team principal for 2023

    Ferrari would have needed to offer a really enticing remuneration package to have persuaded Christian to leave Red Bull, but I don’t think it would have ever been a comfortable fit. Christian has worked hard all these years and finally is starting to get recognition for that, and if he plays his cards right then one day he will leave RB with honour and prestige. Going to Ferrari wouldn’t have been just a backward step for Christian, it would also be a retrograde step too.

  3. It is interesting to hear Christian Horner admit that they got away with an insignificant punishment for the illegal overspend developing the car they have raced this season and last.

    1. Interesting interpretation of what was actually said, and the context it was said in….

  4. Someone could mistake the Maserati driver for Danny Ric at a quick glance.

    COTD is pretty spot-on.

  5. Of course, when you have limited resources, then if you’re putting research and development into that car, then that research and development you’re not putting into this brand new, very new car for the new regulations, which we knew were coming, obviously

    Yeah, limited resources.
    Just not as limited as every other team on the track. Extracting the urea or what?

Comments are closed.