Helmut Marko reveals bizarre tradition about RB-19 development

Mercedes have shown that they have already fired up the W14 for the first time, sending a warning to Red Bull ahead of next season.

Red Bull were pleasantly surprised in 2022 as they were able to cruise to both championship titles, being one of the only teams to seamlessly adapt to the major regulation changes that came at the start of the year.

With teams now having had a year to learn and adapt to these changes, Red Bull will face much sterner competition for the championship this year than they did in 2022.

Ferrari have appointed Fred Vasseur to replace Mattia Binotto as team principal, while upgrade packages applied to the W13 late in the season showed that Mercedes may have got the hang of the new regulations.

Mercedes have shared a video of social media showing that following the failures of the W13, the W14 has already been fired up for the first time, proving that development is well underway ahead of the upcoming season.

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While Red Bull will be working with considerably less wind tunnel testing time than their rivals after the team were punished for breaching the 2021 cost cap, chief advisor Helmut Marko has revealed Red Bull’s strange tradition when preparing for a new season.

“We have a tradition at Red Bull that we don’t really finish the car until the very last moment,” said the Austrian.

“But the concept of the car is already there. We can indeed build on a very successful 2022 car.

“We are of course sitting with this reduction of hours in the wind tunnel, that means we have to work very efficiently as a team. All the things we try out have to hit the mark immediately.”

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The technical regulations have not changed much ahead of the upcoming season, meaning that Red Bull can use most of what they learned and tested in 2022 when developing the RB-19.

After working so hard to bring the constructors’ championship trophy back to Milton Keynes after it spend eight years in Brackley with Mercedes, the energy drink giants will hope that it stays with them for longer than just a single season.

Fans have argued that Red Bull’s driver lineup could hinder them this year, as George Russell and Lewis Hamilton are much closer matched than Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, meaning the Sliver Arrows could be in for a more consistent haul of points.