‘Sources say Red Bull will bring a significantly upgraded car to Bahrain’

Max Verstappen enters the 2022 season as the reigning world champion after his dramatic late victory last year.

Max Verstappen says that Red Bull’s car is going to look very different in the 2022 season opener to the one they ran during the first test in Barcelona.

Red Bull’s car reveal ahead of the new season in Milton Keynes was instantly recognised as a dummy car and a stripped back version of what they will be running when the 2022 season gets up and running, and they headed to Spain with an intriguing sidepod design – something which Sir Lewis Hamilton will likely have spotted when he had a wander around the vicinity of the Red Bull garage on day one.

The Dutchman and team-mate Sergio Perez managed 358 laps between them over the course of the three days, and he is pleased with how the opening week went while revealing that the car will be subject to change as the teams head to a completely different type of track in Sakhir.

“It’s difficult to rate. What was positive is the car was running smooth, I was happy with the balance,” he told Formula 1’s official website.

“But Bahrain is going to be completely different, so heading into race one, the car will be completely different as well.”

Numerous red flags interrupted days two and three so, while the 24-year-old concedes that the team were not quite able to get through a full programme, he is pleased with the feel and appearance of the new car.

“We could not complete our whole programme,” he said.

“But everything was working well, the car felt good, it just continued from what I did on Day 1, [which was] the most important objective here for us.”

“The car runs really well. In general, the weight is a bit up, but I really enjoy driving the car, it has a nice stable balance and I think they look cool as well – that’s always nice to jump into.”

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F1 journalist Lawrence Barretto suggests that the car we saw in Catalunya is “only an early iteration” of what will appear on track in the second test and indeed the first race of the season in Bahrain.

“Sources say Red Bull will bring a significantly upgraded car to Bahrain, as was always the plan, and after a reasonably productive opening test focused on reliability and system checks, they’ll turn their attention to chasing performance next week,” he revealed.

This is not a massive revelation however, as Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has previously confirmed that the teams will be aiming to complete their new machines “as late as possible” to give other teams less time to copy them.