Red Bull will have their work cut out for them in 2023, as the team face the daunting task of defending both of their championship titles with significantly less wind tunnel testing time than their rivals.
The team’s breach of the 2021 cost cap has seen their testing time cut by ten percent by the FIA, meaning that their already small allocation due to winning the championship will be made even smaller.
The hindrance gives Ferrari and especially Mercedes the upper hand in pre-season, as the energy drink giants will have to be very selective about what they choose to run through the wind tunnel and what they don’t.
2022 was a dominant year for the team, cruising to both championships with an impressive RB-18 while Ferrari and Mercedes struggled to produce a consistently competitive package under the new regulations.
Despite Red Bull being forced to fight with one hand behind their back this year, the team’s chief advisor Helmut Marko has given his take on their title chances in next season and remains confident of success.
“We are of course sitting with the reduction of hours in the wind tunnel,” said the Austrian.
“That means we have to work very efficiently as a team. All the things we try out have to hit the mark immediately.
“But fortunately the technical changes for next year are not that big. It means we have a good basic package.
“The team also stays together and Max is still getting slightly better. As a result, we can go into the new season cautiously optimistic.
“We have a tradition at Red Bull that we don’t really finish the car until the very last moment. But the concept of the car is already there. We can indeed build on a very successful 2022 car.”
The RB-18 started last season as the inferior piece of machinery when compared to Ferrari’s challenger, however when Red Bull figured out how to reduce the weight of their car, the RB-18 became almost unbeatable.
Red Bull will be slightly alarmed by the positive progress being made by their rivals ahead of next season, as Ferrari have opted to change team principal after Mattia Binotto’s shortcomings and Mercedes have already fired up the W14 ahead of 2023.