Formula 1: Can Mercedes play catch-up with their car development?
After a double DNF as well as a DNF from AlphaTauri in the 2022 Formula 1 season opener, how can Red Bull’s engine division bounce back in Saudi Arabia?
Following a horror movie at the first race of the 2022 Formula 1 season for Christian Horner and Red Bull, the infant engine development division will be keenly intent on bouncing back from their embarrassment with a circuit which rivals the classics of Spa and Monza in terms of the thirst for power.
Having shown to potentially be the best power unit on the grid when functioning, Red Bull have an excellent chance to make their way back into the constructor championship fight.
As demonstrated last season not only between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton but up and down the grid, dogfights in the final sector of the circuit are reminiscent of the dual-DRS zones in the first sector of Bahrain International Circuit.
On Sunday, this sector gave us the iconic battle between Charles Leclerc and Verstappen that will forever be remembered as the true indoctrination of the new regulations.
All three DRS zones as well as the winding back straight of Jeddah Corniche Circuit will provide Red Bull with plenty of real estate to establish their straight-line dominance and set the tone for the season, placing pressure on Ferrari to develop a more streamlined car to compete.
Much of this is due to the improved advantage of DRS from the enlarged rear wings, but Red Bull have still shown a severe overspeed on the Ferrari when attacking with battery.
There are few circuits which can display a power advantage as clearly as Jeddah Corniche Circuit, so Red Bull will be intent to display their superiority and place added pressure on the Prancing Horse.
It still can’t be ignored that Red Bull Powertrains must solve their fuel pump issues, issues which should have been addressed during testing. Alongside a separate failure from the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly, the question that still remains is whether Red Bull can get to the checkered flag.