Red Bull's Chief Technical Officer, Adrian Newey, believes the 2022 World Championship fight between Red Bull and Ferrari is set to ebb and flow throughout the year, with neither ever gaining the overall upper hand.
With the last two races seeing one of the two respective teams dominate, as Ferrari's Charles Leclerc ran away with the Australian Grand Prix before Red Bull responded with an emphatic 1-2 at Imola, Newey believes that the difference at each weekend could come down to circuit characteristics.
"Yes, probably [at Imola]," he said on the F1 Nation podcast, when asked if Red Bull now have F1's fastest car.
"But, clearly, in Melbourne, we didn't. I think it's going to be like last year between Mercedes and ourselves, that some circuits will favour one car, others may favour another.
"It's so difficult to forecast; [we're] four races in and it's just very close."
Newey highlights development rate as critical
Another interesting facet to the 2022 season is the fact that development is far more difficult to rush through, in light of F1's tightened budget cap of $140 million dollars for the entire year.
While Red Bull have already brought some updates to the RB18, Ferrari are yet to introduce any meaningful changes to their F1-75 since pre-season testing began in Spain two months ago.
"Development, for sure, is important," Newey commented, as he explained how the cost cap is having an effect on Red Bull's plans.
"The other complication this year is the cost cap, because it means that we have to develop within that restriction.
"Perhaps we're making choices where things we might have introduced before, we will wait for a bit longer, to try to build a bit more of a package before we introduce it.
"We just can't afford to do what we used to do last year, or even [in] years gone by, where there'd be something every race."
Viewed by others:
How confident are Red Bull for Miami?
With F1 heading off to a new venue in America for the next round, the inaugural Miami Grand Prix, Newey said that it's been difficult to get a gauge on just how quick the team may be at the track.
"We've done some initial work on the simulator, as we understand the circuit will be," he said.
"It's difficult because, if you don't have the kerbs quite right, or you don't have the surface roughness of the tarmac, which is always a bit of a variable, then that can affect your simulation quite a lot.
"We thought we would be OK in Melbourne [and] we weren't, so we have to be cagey about it."
F1 Podcast: Are Red Bull now favourites and has Hamilton hit a new low?
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Mike Seymour and Thomas Maher look back over the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where Red Bull triumphed, Ferrari hit trouble and Mercedes struggled.