Red Bull had “a firm target on their back” in F1 2022 off the track.

Red Bull won both championships in 2022 as Max Verstappen took his second drivers’ title with a record 15 wins in a single season.

Sergio Perez finished third in the championship with two wins and helped Red Bull secure the constructors’ crown with three races to go.

But Red Bull’s season was not without its setbacks, most notably when it received a $7 million fine and a cut in its aerodynamic testing for the next 12 months after exceeding last year’s budget cap.

The team also questioned plans to change aerodynamic rules for 2023 in response to the porpoise issue, believing the lobbying on the concerns was being done to help a “specific team”.

Asked by Autosport if 2022 had been one of the toughest political seasons he has faced in F1, Horner replied: “Off the track this year we had a goal firmly in our backs.

“We are a racing team. We are not a political organization. We’re just focused on racing and we’re tough racers, we push the envelope, which is what racing teams do if they want to be successful.

“That has always been our approach. It has always worked well for us. This is how we enjoy the competition. Sometimes you feel like it’s been tough this year. Unfortunately, that is Formula 1.”

Helmut Marko, Christian Horner, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Erik Junius

Red Bull has had a slow start to the season after suffering three downtimes in the first three races, including a double retirement at the opening race in Bahrain.

But the team rallied battling Ferrari before finally pulling away in the development race to dominate the second half of the season.

Horner felt Red Bull’s 2-1 win at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in April was a key moment to put pressure on Ferrari, who had taken early leads in both championships.

“Our team did a great job coming out with such a competitive car and bouncing back after a double DNF which saw Ferrari finish 1-2 in Bahrain,” said Horner.

“We never lost sight of our goal and when we got to Imola and won the sprint and the grand prix with our first 1-2 of the year, we were able to put pressure on Ferrari again and we didn’t. t give them the respite.

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“We simply developed the car efficiently and lost a bit of weight in the process. And Max was in sensational form this year. You think back to some of the races earlier this year, it was so close in the early races with Ferrari – you think Miami, Saudi, even Bahrain.

“It was an incredible season for us.”

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