It is only the second reveal in the build-up to the 2022 Formula 1 season, but this is one of the most important cars on the grid. Say hello to the RB18.
First and foremost, Red Bull has a new title sponsor for 2022 and so the official team name now stands as Oracle Red Bull Racing. The tech giant’s name will take the biggest surface on the RB18, previously occupied by Red Bull itself. The car is a whole new beast but still wrapped in familiar hues of blue, red and yellow. The red outline for the aero discs on the new 18-inch wheels is a nice touch.
While this showcase car is only the starting template that will evolve as soon as testing begins, the RB18 already looks a bit different from the Haas VF22. The aero profile seems more aggressive at the front end, suggesting that Red Bull’s 2022 contender could be the best for tighter corners. Around the rear as well, the overall rear wing shape is the same with its curves and tall endplates but the profile of the top wing is different.
Interestingly, Red Bull did not say much about the powertrain of the RB18. We know that Honda is no longer an active participant in Formula 1 and that Red Bull will be building its own engines from hereon. Since engine development has been somewhat “frozen in place” until 2025, Red Bull should be able to take over where Honda left off with continued technical support from the Japanese manufacturer. We expect more updates in that regard, closer to the start of pre-season testing.
Red Bull is also expected to be behind on their RB18 development compared to some other teams. Since they were in a tight battle for the 2021 championship, they were unlikely to have resources to spare on the new car while some teams had already shifted focus. This is all speculation of course and no judgement on performance holds much value until the first race weekend. The results from that will be the best way to evaluate each team’s new cars.
The team will continue to be led by Christian Horner as Team Principal and CEO. Sergio Perez will be looking to improve on his debut season with the Austrian outfit in 2022, aiming for more wins and consistent podiums to help Red Bull challenge for the Constructor’s Title. His teammate, Max Verstappen, is expected to be doing the same as last year: Win. The Dutchman will also be bringing the No.1 back to the F1 grid in 2022, a privilege exclusive to the current World Champion. He’ll be the second Red Bull driver to do so, and the first one to do it since 2014.
What do you think of the Red Bull RB18? Do you expect it to be a dominant car, or do you think it will be bested by Mercedes and Ferrari? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to the Auto Loons for more F1 updates and news about cool cars.