Redbull Formula 1 team just revealed their 2022 championship contender. 2021 ended in a very controversial fashion which perhaps in some fans eyes took the shine off, what was, a fantastic campaign by the Austrian team. Despite the acrimonious final in Abu Dhabi, Redbull did a fantastic job to close the gap to the reigning Mercedes car and providing a thrilling title fight.
The beginning of the Redbull launch confirmed the new Title sponsorship by Oracle; officially becoming Oracle Redbull racing. This partnership will allow the Redbull team, trackside and at the factory, to leverage Oracle’s suite of tools and cloud computing capabilities.
Christian Horner was bullish during the livestream looking forward to retaining the Drivers Championship but also to try also win the Constructors Championship. With Checo Perez continuing to grow in his role at Redbull, and Max Verstappen’s confidence sky-high; Horner expects the team to move from strength to strength this season. Max appeared cool, calm and collected, looking forward to getting his hands on the new car. Whilst excited to get back into the cockpit, he insisted there would be a bit of a learning period getting to grips with the new package as a whole.
Max Verstappen revealed “I’m feeling recharged and ready to get driving again, I feel good and it’s important that you prepare yourself in the best way possible physically, particularly when things are changing with the shakeup in regulations. In terms of the car, we don’t know what to fully expect; so I’m excited to see how the car behaves on the track for the first time. The biggest adaptation this season will be the new regulations, we’ll need some time to get used to the car, it’s not like you just jump in and it’s an upgrade from last year. The rest is pretty straightforward, I don’t feel any extra pressure this season, I will just do what I do all the time because I don’t think there is any reason to be different. Now I just I can’t wait for that first moment when I drive out of the pitlane in the RB18.”
Unlike Haas, Redbull presented us with an actual car in the studio. Decked out in typical Redbull colours, albeit with a much cleaner design. The large new Oracle branding on the sides of the sidepods replaces the previous Redbull branding; and Honda logos are completely absent from the car. Christian Horner expects quite a bit of changes to still happen between today and the first race; with development still in motion until the cars are first driven in anger in Bahrain.
The RB18 much like all other 2022 cars is a much sleeker machine that previous iterations. Certainly much sleeker than the Haas we have seen. Less aerodynamic surfaces and larger 18inch wheels with wheel covers. The RB18 with its black wheel covers gives the wheels, at least in studio, a very 13inch look. So from that perspective that change should from a fans point be quick to get to grips with.
We will have to wait until Bahrain to see what exactly the car will look like in race trim and if Oracle Redbull Racing still has that championship edge. Max is certainly not ready to give up that #1 yet.