Red Bull was on the brink of "disaster" at the start of the 2022 Formula 1 season, according to chief engineering officer Rob Marshall. The team has admitted that it was among the, if not, the last to switch attention over to the 2022-spec ground-effect cars as it pushed hard to win the '21 title with Max Verstappen. Despite the late start, Verstappen wrapped up the Drivers' crown at Suzuka with the Constructors' set to follow at the United States or Mexico City Grands Prix. Although they won in 18 races, Marshall has revealed the fears that plagued the Milton Keynes squad in the spring.
Red Bull feared on back foot
"There wasn't a carry over nut or bolt on the car," Marshall explained to the F1 Nation podcast. "The whole aero regulations are different, chassis regs are different, new suspension and gearbox so there's nothing you could really take from the year before going: 'Alright, so at least we don't have to worry about that. "The whole thing was potentially a disaster, but luckily nothing was. "We've been able to iron out some of the smaller problems we had and then build on that, so it has been pretty good really."
Ferrari had the edge
In the first few races, Red Bull was not the quickest car - and had reliability concerns - as Ferrari stole a march in the championship. However, the Scuderia was unable to maintain its momentum as Red Bull overhauled it and then pulled quickly away. "It was never going to be easy, and it still hasn't been, but I guess the first half of the year Ferrari had the edge on us. "They had a better car, but I think it is still only marginal but we are a little bit better now. "Under new regulations, it's always difficult to know whether you've done the right thing or not. "We got to the first test, and we found that actually what we've done wasn't too far off the pace. "We didn't seem to be struggling on certain issues that other people were clearly having problems with - and have continued to. "So I don't think it was a great triumph of design, but we certainly avoided some design, banana peels/skins, the other people fell and slipped on."