2021 Review: Red Bull F1 Dominance – Can It Continue in 2022?

Mercedes F1’s Dominance in 2020 and Red Bull’s Resurgence in 2021

In 2020, Mercedes proved its dominance by claiming victory in 13 out of the 17 races, with world champion Lewis Hamilton securing 11 wins.

Red Bull, however, lagged behind with only two wins by Max Verstappen. The 2021 season, on the other hand, witnessed Red Bull closing the gap on Mercedes, setting the stage for an intense title showdown.

In 2023, Red Bull asserted its supremacy, with Verstappen clinching his third consecutive world title. As the team shifts its development focus to 2024, other teams express pessimism about the likelihood of catching up next year.

When asked about the possibility of rivals catching Red Bull, team principal Horner stated, “We saw that in 2020 with Mercedes. If you remember, that was their most dominant year ever and yet, we were able to beat them in ’21.”

Horner continued, “There is a subtle rule change but I think that nothing stands still. We’ve seen competitors coming closer at different venues and I’m sure concepts will converge.”

“Stable regulations always concertina. I don’t think we’ll ever be able to repeat the season that we’ve had, but hopefully, we can take the lessons from RB19 and apply them to [RB]20 and come up with a car that we can defend these titles with.”

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, celebrates at the end of the race

Looking ahead to 2024, the regulations are anticipated to be more stable compared to the significant redesigns prompted by rule changes between 2020 and 2021.

Reflecting on Red Bull’s performance, Horner believes that varied performances from rival teams Ferrari and Mercedes have contributed to the wider gap. He stated, “It’s been different people at different times. It’s swung around from McLaren having a surge, Ferrari having a surge, Mercedes turning up at one point, so it’s moved around from venue to venue.”

When questioned about the Singapore slump preventing Red Bull from a clean sweep of 22 race wins, Horner replied, “It leaves you humbled that there is still something to strive for and it’s a useful lesson that things can change quickly.”

Horner added, “This car will go down in history certainly for a considerable period of time as the most successful car in Formula 1 history.”

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