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While it may not have been the biggest news to come out of Red Bull Racing’s car launch, it did unveil its challenger for the 2023 season, the RB19.
The team showed off the new car at a glitzy affair Friday in New York City.
If it looks familiar, that’s because it looks a whole hell of a lot like the RB18, but why shouldn’t it? The car Red Bull brought to the table for 2022’s new set of regulations was wildly successful. World Champ Max Verstappen drove it to 15 Grand Prix wins, more than any other driver has ever had in a single season.
Add Sergio Perez’s wins at Monaco and Singapore and that’s a grand total of 17 wins. They also clinched a constructors’ championship with several races left on the schedule.
Expect To See The RB19 Upfront… Just Maybe With Some Company
To my highly untrained eye, it looked to me like the sidepod intakes might be a little different. Other than that, there’s a lot of RB18 in this puppy. That’s not a bad thing, but Red Bull has a target on its back this season, and the two teams who will likely be gunning for them — Ferrari and Mercedes — have far more wind tunnel time to get its new cars dialed in.
Red Bull was the team to beat virtually all season, despite early reliability issues with their maiden Red Bull Powertrains power unit. It’s easy to forget that its 2022 campaign started with a double DNF in Bahrain.
It’ll be interesting to see if it can make any gains, even incremental ones because it’s going to be hard to fathom Ferrari and Mercedes not improving a lot this year.
I think the RB19 is still going to be the team to beat. However, Red Bull will have significantly less breathing room.
Ford Kind Of Stole The RB19’s Thunder
The chances of the RB19 being a dud are very, very low. But despite the car being an almost certain championship contender, another piece of news dominated the launch.
Never mind the RB19 or Daniel Ricciardo making his official return to Red Bull as its reserve driver, the big news involved Ford.
Ford and Red Bull confirmed the widely-reported plans to partner up on an ending project beginning with the new engine regs in 2026. It’s a big deal to see a major American company getting involved in the production of F1 power units. The expectation is that Red Bull will lead on Ford’s expertise when it comes to the new PU’s hybrid system which will be even more important for the next set of regulations.
This takes the prospect of Red Bull’s old engine partner, Honda, returning to the team off the table. However, the company is one of six engine manufacturers who have shown an official interest in producing PUs in 2026.
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