Christian Horner expects Red Bull RB18 to ‘evolve very quickly’ in 2022 F1 season

Christian Horner expects evolution of the RB18 to be “very quick” as Red Bull make discoveries about how they can improve their 2022 challenger.

The car that will display the No 1 in honour of Max Verstappen’s World Championship triumph – and No 11 for his team-mate, Sergio Perez – was presented during an online event, with Red Bull the second constructor after Haas to stage a pre-season launch.

Horner discussed the sweeping regulation changes that have come into Formula 1 for this year, which he says mean “basically everything” about the chassis has changed from the RB16B in which Verstappen captured the Drivers’ title.

And that means as teams find out how their car stacks up against those of their rivals, and they get to see what those opponents have come up with, the 2022 model will continue to be a work in progress over the course of the 23-race campaign between March and November.

“The biggest change, obviously from a regulatory point of view, is the car is a lot cleaner, there are not all the added bits that were on last year’s car,” said Horner.

“The whole concept of the car is to try and promote overtaking and closer racing, so it’s a new concept, a new philosophy and it’s a clean sheet of paper for every single team.

“Because it’s new regulations it will evolve very quickly. I think by the time we get to the first race the car won’t look very much like this and I think the evolution will be very quick as we progress through the season.

“With the new regulation changes this year, the whole philosophy has altered, which means every single component is different to last year’s car. It’s a clean sheet of paper for every single team.

“It’s a steep learning curve for everyone and a race of development between the first and last races.”

I’ve been working hard to get my best version this 2022! Redbull let’s go for a great one! #RB18 ¡Trabajando como nunca para que el 2022 sea mi mejor versión! ¡Vamos a lograrlo, equipo! @redbullracing pic.twitter.com/pAmv3ZHxeb — Sergio Pérez (@SChecoPerez) February 9, 2022

Concerns have been expressed that Red Bull could be behind some of the other teams initially because they continued to work on their 2021 car to aid Verstappen’s title effort against Lewis Hamilton, rather than switching focus entirely to 2022 like some did.

Such fears were touched upon by Horner at the launch, who wondered if a team might have conjured up something the others had not thought of.

“We believe we have a good car for 2022. The RB18 is coming to life and seeing it today is fantastic,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing it out on the track in anger.

“It has been a huge effort from the team and I’m looking forward to seeing it out on the track now.

“Our challenge is now to build on 2021 – now we have the No 1 on the car it’s to keep it on the car and the new set of regulations will be incredibly difficult.

“Development will be thick and fast and of course with the cost cap it has to be efficient.

“The big unknown is have we missed something with the regulations, has another team stolen a march because of the focus and effort that went into 2021.

“We have massive competition out there, but motivation is sky high and we are riding on the crest of a wave from last year.”

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