Red Bull's Adrian Newey is expecting a close development war to play out between the team and Ferrari as the season goes on.
Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc engaged in a fierce battle for the lead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix during the closing stages of the race, with the pair swapping places on more than one occasion.
It was eventually Verstappen who came out on top to take his first win of the 2022 campaign. Teammate Sergio Perez finished in fourth, whilst Leclerc and fellow Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz took P2 and P3 respectively.
Newey: Performance of Red Bull and Ferrari "identical" in Jeddah
After watching the fight unfold between Verstappen and Leclerc, Newey believes that the two teams were on a par in Jeddah.
"It was really tight, wasn't it?" Newey told Sky Sports F1 after the event.
"The performance of our car and Ferrari's seemed to be absolutely identical through the whole race."
In terms of what will give one team the edge going forwards, Newey is expecting development to play a key role.
"We saw it in Bahrain, we saw it here [in Saudi Arabia]," the Chief Technical Officer explained.
"There seems to be so little to choose between the two of them. I guess it's just going to be a big development war now, but it's also a development war with one hand tied behind our backs, with the cost cap."
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A different approach to development in 2022
Given the aforementioned budget cap that is in place for 2022, Newey admits that this requires a different approach than in previous years.
"With the budget cap, we've got to be more focused on what we bring in when," he said.
"So it's going to be a different one, but just as interesting."
For now, Newey is happy that Red Bull have got their first points of the season on the board after the team's double retirement at the previous race in Bahrain.
"Our season's finally got off the mark after the disappointment of last weekend," Newey added.
"It's good to bounce back."
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