Johannesburg — Red Bull Racing on Wednesday evening unveiled their new car which will contest the 2022 Formula One World Championship from their Milton-Keynes base in the UK.
The RB18 follows the design of the new rules and regulations which will be used from this season onwards, and which includes a smaller, lower rear wing; new low-profile 18-inch tyres with front-wing flaps; and a more aesthetically pleasing bodywork with less frills and fuss.
During the presentation, defending world champions said of the 2022 season: “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 can’t wait for that first moment when I drive out of the pitlane in the RB18.”
Verstappen won the 2021 world drivers’ championship under controversial circumstances, winning the title on the last lap of the last race in Abu Dhabi in December to miraculously beat seven-time world champions Lewis Hamilton to the crown.
Red Bull will hope that this year the title challenge will be fierce, but their newly designed car will be able to stave off all competitors, including beat rivals Mercedes – who will reveal their car on February 18. Red Bull Christian Horner admitted, however, that the car that will participate in the season opening Bahrain GP on March 20, will look markedly different from the one presented on Wednesday.
“With the new regulation changes this year,” said team principal Christian Horner, “the whole philosophy has altered from last year, which means every single component is different to last year’s car.
“It’s a clean sheet of paper for every single team. By the time we get to the first race, the RB18 won’t look much like it looks today, the evolution will be very quick as we progress through the season. It is a steep learning curve for everyone and it is a race of development between the first race and the last race.
“We believe we have a good car for 2022, the RB18 is coming to life and seeing it (Wednesday) is fantastic. It has been a huge effort from the team and I am looking forward to seeing it out on the track now.
“We plan to build on 2021, we have No 1 on the car this year and now the challenge is to keep it and defend that title with Max. The excitement and hard work of 2021 really galvanised the team and it means we go into 2022 in great shape for the season ahead.
Pre-season testing, where all the cars will be seen by the public for the first time in action, starts on February 23 in Barcelona.
Aston Martin, meanwhile, will unveil their car on Thursday, followed by McLaren on Friday.