With the 2022 season done and dusted, Red Bull employees have been understandably enjoying themselves, following a season of complete domination.
As they approached this season, the Austrian side probably couldn’t have imagined winning 17 out of 22 races in a season, with 15 of those having been claimed by Max Verstappen.
It was truly a season like no other for the Milton Keynes-based side, who cruised to their first Constructors’ Championship since 2013.
For the first half of the season, it was looking like Red Bull were going to be pushed all the way by Ferrari, something which failed to materialise.
That was as a result of the Italians suffering from a plethora of embarrassing strategic blunders, which handed victory to Verstappen on multiple occasions.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner actually joked about the Scuderia during a charity event at the team’s base, during a Q&A session.
Horner was asked if his side can be beaten in 2023, after enjoying such superiority in 2022.
“Well, Ferrari have just fired most of their team,” he joked, causing laughter amongst the audience.
“But they had a good, competitive car this year. Mercedes have not enjoyed playing a background role in this year’s championship, so for sure the motivation will be there to get back into a winning position.
“They’re a strong team, a quality team and they’ve got very strong drivers, so I expect Mercedes to be back next season as a strong contender.
“McLaren are going through some changes, Alpine have made a step up and Aston Martin, with Fernando Alonso, could be interesting. So there’s lots of movement going on around the field.”
Retaining their title next season will be a monumental challenge for Red Bull, given that their developments will be impacted by the team’s 10-percent aerodynamic research reduction, which they were awarded for breaching the 2021 budget cap.
Despite this, Horner is confident that his side can defy the odds and claim back-to-back titles, with the team’s motivation being “sky high” following the recent season.
“Winning is like an addiction, and once you stop winning you want to start to win again – that feeling is something everyone in the factory has now experienced,” Horner said.
“It’s almost the fear of failure which drives you on. We’ve got a great base from which to work next year. We’ve got some formidable opponents who we’re up against, but the motivation in the factory is sky high off the back of a year like we’ve just had.
“It’s a very short winter before we’re up and running again, and the factory is burning the midnight oil. You never rest on your laurels. You’re always looking for that next bit of performance – how can be improve our operations and the car? How can we better support our drivers?
“It’s never enough, and of course we’ve got some massive competitors who are going to be turbocharged over the winter having taken a bit of a drubbing this year. They are going to want to come back and give us a hard time next year, so complacency has no place in F1.”