This is why Adrian Newey is concerned about 2023 for Red Bull and Max Verstappen

Ferrari were the early title favourites after Charles Leclerc claimed two wins from the opening three races of 2022.

Red Bull’s 2022 campaign was truly remarkable, with the Austrians having enjoyed what was arguably their most successful season since joining Formula 1 in 2005.

The Milton Keynes-based side truly aced the new aerodynamic regulations that were introduced at the start of the year, despite not having fully focused on 2022 during 2021, as a result of the team challenging Mercedes for the title.

Given how catastrophically wrong Mercedes got the new regs, it is incredible just how well Red Bull did in designing and developing the RB18, which just got faster throughout the season.

Ferrari were the only team who were capable of challenging the Austrians; however, they ultimately caused issues for themselves following reliability gremlins and a catalogue of strategic errors.

READ: Ex-Red Bull design chief doesn’t want Aston Martin to copy them

The Italians ended up slipping way too far behind Red Bull and Max Verstappen, with the latter having claimed a second consecutive Drivers’ Championship.

Speaking at the Autosport awards, where Red Bull won Racing Car of the Year and Verstappen won International Driver of the Year, chief technical officer Adrian Newey admitted that he thinks Ferrari knew they’d lost the title and when they began to realise the fight was over.

“Once you got to Singapore, then we would have messed up fairly spectacularly to have lost it,” he said.

“I’m sure Ferrari probably had the same feeling. Mercedes were still pushing to understand the car.

Article continues below

“Because the regulations are relatively stable over the winter then what you continue to learn through the year is still applicable for the following season.”

With the side having dominated 2022, they will understandably be keen to carry their form over into 2023, a year that looks set to be incredibly challenging for the Austrians.

This is due to the team having been awarded a 10-percent reduction in permitted aerodynamic research, meaning they’ll receive less wind tunnel time in 2023.

As a result, their mid-season developments and their 2024 car will likely be impacted, with Newey being unaware currently of “how much of an effect” the penalty will have on their yearly performance.

“It doesn’t help, of course,” he said.

“It’s very difficult to know exactly how much of an effect it has.

“We’ve already had a bit of a penalty by winning the Constructors’ and then we’ve had this additional penalty from the cost cut shenanigans.

“So how it will affect us, it’s difficult to know but we’ve just got to do the best job we can.”

Red Bull’s 2022 campaign has truly been one for the record books, given that they claimed 17 wins out of the 22 completed races.

It means that the Constructors’ Champions won 77-percent of the races in 2022, a ridiculous number to comprehend.

Newey hailed the season as “very satisfying”, especially given that they didn’t completely focus on the RB18 during 2021.

READ: Lewis Hamilton claims Max Verstappen wants to ‘show how tough’ he is

“It’s been a very satisfying season,” he added.

“Obviously had a huge regulation change to deal with which, given that we were battling hard for last year’s Championship as well, meant that was always a juggling act through 2021.

“Early season, Ferrari and ourselves were very similar. They were quicker at some circuits, we were quicker at others but we managed to develop the car to be pretty decent at all circuits. That gave us a very strong second half [of the season].”