Red Bull claimed its 17th win of the year to close out the 2022 season in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, capping off a dominating campaign that saw it capture both titles for the first time since 2013.
Max Verstappen earned a record 15 wins during the season, while Red Bull set a new record for the number of points scored by a team in a single year.
The team started 2022 struggling for reliability, losing both cars in the season-opener of Bahrain and seeing Verstappen retire in Australia due to fuel system issues.
But after finding its footing and going toe-to-toe with Ferrari for the first half of the year, the RB18 stepped up to become the most dominant car on the grid, winning 11 of the last 12 races of the season.
“When you win 17 grands prix and do what we’ve done, you can understand that it hurts our opponents,” Horner said after the race in Abu Dhabi.
“I’m sure they will be even more motivated to become challengers next year. They are [Mercedes and Ferrari] both teams of such high quality that nothing can be taken for granted in 2023.”
Race Winner Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing with Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal BEST PICTURE
Photo by: James Moy
But Red Bull’s success this year was not without controversy. The team was found to have exceeded the budget cap in 2021, resulting in a fine and an aerodynamic test penalty for the next year, with some teams calling for stiffer penalties.
Horner also had to manage some internal tensions after Verstappen refused to help teammate Sergio Perez in his bid for second in the championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix earlier this month.
Asked what lessons Red Bull could take from this year and the controversies it has faced, Horner said: “You’re always learning, and someone else is going to have a problem at some point.
“The higher you go, the sharper the knives. We’ve experienced a bit of that this year. And the quickest way to become unpopular in this paddock is to win and win consistently.”
“We’re a subsidiary of an energy drink that competes against OEMs and legacy brands. And, of course, that doesn’t sit comfortably with some of our competitors.”