2022 looked certain to play host to another tight battle for the championship after Ferrari came flying out of the blocks in Bahrain, while Red Bull suffered a double DNF.
For a while it did seem that way, as Red Bull struggled with reliability issues and Charles Leclerc looked a man possessed in his now competitive machinery.
Strategy errors and reliability issues of their own eventually saw the Scuderia fall away and allow Max Verstappen and his team to storm to the title, with the Dutchman wrapping up his second title at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Should Sergio Perez finish above Leclerc in Abu Dhabi the team will have had the perfect year, winning both titles and completing a one-two finish in the drivers’ championship for the first time in the team’s history.
Chief engineer for Red Bull, Paul Monaghan, has suggested that 2022 has been the team’s most satisfying year yet, with all the hard work from the Milton Keynes based team paying dividends.
“I wouldn’t say it is the best [year yet], I would say it is one of our most satisfying years,” he claimed.
“We are very privileged to have the car and the team we have, whether it is trackside or factory, it doesn’t matter. Everyone is pulling in the same direction.
“The results speak for themselves.”
Red Bull have become a dominant force in Formula 1 since the late Dietrich Mateschitz took over a struggling Jaguar over 15 years ago.
The team had an unbeatable period with Sebastian Vettel in the early 2010’s, and now look set to enter a similar era with Max Verstappen who appears to up his game year after year.
Monaghan has put the team’s successful year down to their ability to overcome the challenges caused by Ferrari and Mercedes, with the Silver Arrows mounted a resurgence of late.
“We could argue for that given the success we have enjoyed but there were more races this year than in 2009 when we were starting to be challenging, and 2010 for our first titles.
“It is different because there is a confidence in our team.
“We are exceptionally lucky. We have had a good fight with Ferrari and some tussles with Mercedes this year and we have managed to surpass those.”
Red Bull will be hindered next year by their ten per cent reduction in aerodynamic testing time, as punishment for their cost cap breach in 2021, which is something their rivals will want to take advantage of.