Red Bull started 2023 in the same way they ended 2022, with complete domination, following a sensational display on the opening day of pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit.
As the first day of running got underway in Bahrain, all eyes were on the Austrians, who’d opted to keep their 2023 car hidden for the vast majority of the winter break.
Even when launching their livery for the forthcoming season, they displayed it on a model of their 2022 car, whilst they also blurred and limited footage of their shakedown test at Silverstone.
It meant that very little was known of what Red Bull were bringing to Bahrain, until double World Champion Max Verstappen hit the track.
Red Bull opted to use just Verstappen for the entire opening day, with the reigning World Champion having conducted an astonishing 157 laps.
It was as perfect as it comes in pre-season testing, with the Milton Keynes-based team having certainly thrown down an early gauntlet to their rivals.
So, what has Red Bull done to make their new car so strong?
Ex-F1 driver Giedo van der Garde looked into the team’s RB19 and identified what they’ve done to reduce the weight of their car, with the Dutchman having labelled that as something they’ve “been working on”.
“Red Bull has also been working on getting the weight of the car down,” explained Van Der Garde on Dutch TV channel Viaplay.
“And what you see is a whole piece of carbon all the way to the sidepods. That part has not been sprayed or pasted. This saves you half-a-kilo to a whole kilo in weight.
“We know that at Red Bull it’s all about the flow among the sidepods and they’ve made that very narrow there to use the floor and the flow as much as possible.”
Interestingly, something that caught Van der Garde’s eye was Red Bull’s “nice tricks”, with the former F1 driver having hailed the team’s floor as something he’s “never seen” before.
“They have a number of nice tricks on the floor and I have never seen anything like this before”, said Van Der Garde.
“But to be honest, I think this is unique and genius to see and you can immediately see that they are doing well again.”