Red Bull Racing was the team to beat last season, coming up with a challenger that was well ahead of its competitors both in terms of design and speed.
This allowed Max Verstappen to stroll to his second successive world championship while also setting a distinct standard of just how fast other competitors would have to be to challenge at the top.
While this would usually give any team an air of confidence moving into the next season, Red Bull has admitted that it might look to explore the Mercedes “playbook of ideas” in a bid to maintain their spot at the top of the grid.
Red Bull technical advisor Helmut Marko explained the processes involved behind the scenes at Red Bull as the team prepares for its litmus test in 2023.
“We have a look at all the top teams, especially Mercedes,” Marko said.
“They have a clear advantage in certain areas, and we will take a closer look at their playbook of ideas.”
This was apparent to fans when they saw the first images of the new Red Bull challenger, which showed a strong resemblance to many Silver Arrows philosophies.
#RB19 on track today in Silverstone!— AMRacingF1 (@AMRacingF1) February 10, 2023
Thanks to @otabil_fernando we got an early glimpse of the car. Tweaked it a little so we can look at the details a little longer 🧐 #RedBull pic.twitter.com/2uSi2D1huL
The design seems to suggest that Red Bull has opted for something similar to the zero-pod although there is some difference.
In the RB19, it seems like the sidepods flatten out at the back, while a larger nose and air intake seem almost completely out of the Mercedes design playbook.
However, one should not rule out the possibility that this is just a trick from Red Bull and the real challenger will be a lot different from the grainy images that we have seen.
Max shares insights after testing new Red Bull challenger
Max spoke about his experience driving the new car and offered some valuable insights.
“I’ve just driven the RB19 for the first time,” Verstappen said.
“Of course, it’s a filming day, but I think it was a good first impression, everything worked really well, everything worked really smooth, so that’s exactly what you want from a day like this.”
Red Bull Racing’s decision to explore the Mercedes “playbook of ideas” is being seen by some as a smart move, and it demonstrates their commitment to continued success in F1.
With a talented driver in Verstappen and a strong team behind him, the team is well-positioned to challenge for the championship once again in 2023.
Whether they can replicate the long-term success of Mercedes remains to be seen, but one thing is certain – Red Bull is very much the team to beat heading into 2023.