With brand new technical regulations in play, Christian Horner says the RB18 is a “prototype” that will evolve at every race weekend.
So much so the Red Bull team boss says it will “never run in the same configuration twice”.
Formula 1 is running all-new cars this season based on ground effect aerodynamics, moving away from the traditional over-car airflow.
The idea is that the new cars will create less dirty air, enabling them to follow each other far more closely and leading to better racing…hopefully.
Although Red Bull were the second team to unveil their car, the Milton Keynes squad opted for more of a livery launch using an updated show car.
The team made it clear at the time that they had no intention of revealing the RB18’s secrets to their rivals as they prepare to defend Max Verstappen’s World title.
RB18 hanging out with a few mates 🤝 pic.twitter.com/wiZg5ngtSH
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) February 10, 2022
Instead the new car will only be seen on the first day of the pre-season shakedown with Red Bull saying that even that car will be different when the first test comes around in March, and that will also change before the season-opening race in Bahrain on March 20.
With all those changes set to come, Horner has referred to the new Red Bull as a “prototype” car.
“The car is a prototype and basically, at every race it is evolving, it will never run in the same configuration twice so it is constantly evolving,” said the Briton.
“Now we have to do that within the framework of the financial regulations.
“So we have to be really choosy of where are we going to spend our money to develop this car this year.”
The team boss reiterated his belief that this is the biggest change to Formula 1’s technical regulations in some three decades.
“It is the biggest rule change we have seen in the last 30 years so everything about the chassis has changed for this year,” he added.
“The purpose of the change in the design is to allow the cars to follow each other more closely to create better overtaking opportunities and to create closer wheel-to-wheel racing.
“We saw plenty of that last year so if we get that even closer through these regulations this year, it is going to be an epic season.”
Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to the 2021 Drivers’ Championship with a last lap of the season pass on the Mercedes driver. The Brackley squad, though, took the Constructors’ crown.
Sergio Perez continues as Verstappen’s team-mate for a second season.