The second of three pre-season of 2022 testing is underway in Bahrain, a week before the first race of the 2022 calendar. Earlier, in testing in Barcelona, we saw the new 2022 cars in action for the first time this year. And, now in Bahrain, we’re seeing significant changes to the cars made after the learnings from the data collected in Barcelona.
Red Bull in Barcelona were not at their best but were content with the new car. Both Christian Horner and Helmut Marko shared their satisfaction over the new car after both the drivers, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, appeared to be happy with the developing new RB18.
One of the most drastic changes was witnessed in the Mercedes W13 on Thursday morning in Bahrain. The team revealed its updated model of W13 with visually no sidepods, used to cool a car, present on its either side.
This drew everyone’s attention to the design. In the early hours, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was quoted by Auto Motor and Sport journalist Michael Schmidt, saying, “[removal of sidepods] do not correspond to the spirit of the regulations. For us, these wings are illegal”. However, Christian Horner denied making any such comments, as Red Bull made a statement saying, “Any quotes being attributed to him this morning are incorrect.”
Max Verstappen’s unbothered attitude towards the changes
As Christian Horner’s alleged comments went viral, the 2021 champion Max Verstappen was approached for his comments on the changes witnessed on the new Mercedes car and whether the reigning champion is concerned by these drastic changes. He said, as quoted by the GP Fans, “No, I’m not concerned.”
Max Verstappen added, “We can only focus on ourselves. I said this so many times last year, and we have to do it again this year, even if the cars look a bit different. There are so many unknown things, what we need to learn about, so I’m not worried at all.”
However, the driver may not be worried about the design change in his rival’s car, but if the Silver Arrows’ innovation plays in as planned, the Red Bull engineers may have a great task of reducing the weight of sidepods at hand. And it’s only a matter of time before the regulations on this recent development become clear.