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Red Bull does not expect grid full of RB18 clones in 2023 RaceFans

Red Bull doubts that all of its rivals will produce copies of its successful RB18 design for the 2023 F1 season, despite the limitations of current regulations.

The team produced the reference car for this season. Max Verstappen has achieved a record 14 grand prix victories and his teammate Sergio Perez has added two more for the team as they took a dominating championship victory.

However, Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan believes that rival teams will still be able to follow different design philosophies, as Mercedes and Ferrari have done this year.

The design rules are “a bit limited because the cars are quite similar and our liberties are restricted compared to previous years,” he admitted. But “in a nutshell, no, I don’t think the cars look identical,” she added.

“I don’t think we’re at that point yet. Regulations govern the form more closely than ever before. But there are some differences, especially if you look at the car Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. There are some significant differences.”

Following the major change to the technical rules that was made for this year, minor adjustments to some areas of the car, such as the dimensions of the floor, will follow in 2023.

“Regulation changes are coming for next year,” Monaghan said. “Are we all going to have the same solution in the first race? I doubt it, that doesn’t seem to be the path of our sport.

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“So I think there will be differences there. They will be smaller in magnitude than what we have seen in, say, 2010, 2011, 2012, etc. That is the evolution of the sport. So be it.”

Williams technical director Francois-Xavier Demaison, whose team has already embraced some of Red Bull’s design cues during 2022, had a different opinion.

“Well, when you see the speed of the blue car, I’m pretty sure [teams will converge],” he said. “I think a lot of cars are trying to go in that direction.

“So I would be surprised if there aren’t more and more cars going in the same direction. You can’t help it, it’s motorsport, you always copy the fastest car and that’s F1.”

Aston Martin performance director Tom McCullough, whose revised car was dubbed a ‘green Red Bull’ by some when it appeared at the Spanish Grand Prix, said current rules discourage teams from experimenting with multiple development paths during the season, but more may appear in Pre-Season Testing.

“I think the cost cap will mean that people have been working on ideas that they haven’t been able to bring to the track that people haven’t seen,” he said. “And therefore, [we’ll see] maybe some differences early next year.”

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