Christian Horner concedes RB19 will look ‘different’ in Bahrain

The car launched by Red Bull today was the RB19 in name only, says Christian Horner


Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has admitted the RB19 that was unveiled in New York won’t be the same car that lines up for the first race of the 2023 Formula 1 season in Bahrain.

The reigning world champions were the second team to launch their new challenger, but keen observers were quick to notice it bore a striking resemblance to 2022’s title-winning RB18.

“I think the car that we’ve shown today obviously will be somewhat different when you see it in Bahrain,” Horner said.

“Today was really about launching the teams aspirations for the year ahead, the partners that we have and of course, the exciting announcement with a Ford partnership and to do it here in the US in this market is the first time obviously ever for Red Bull Racing.

“So yes, what you’ve seen today obviously isn’t a total reflection of what will hit the track in Bahrain in a couple of weeks’ time.”

The big news to come out of the event was the return of Ford to F1 in 2026 as Red Bull‘s engine supplier.

It will bring to an end the Milton Keynes-based team’s highly successful partnership with Honda, which has so far delivered two drivers’ titles as well as one constructors’ championship.

Horner paid tribute to the Japanese manufacturer and hopes they can toast to more good times before they part ways at the conclusion of the 2025 season.

“We’ve had an incredible partnership with Honda and when they initially announced their withdrawal from Formula 1 in 2020, it was with great sadness,” Horner added. “And that’s what prompted the creation of Red Bull powertrains to take control of our own future.

“As we set off on that journey, obviously, there was a change of plan with Honda thankfully to agree to continue to supply engines to the end of 2025, whilst in turn, we were building up our resource for 2026.

“We have a great working relationship, they’re an incredible company, and under the current regulations, we will be pushing with Honda all the way to the last race of the 2025 season.”

Verstappen: I haven’t seen the car

At the launch event, reigning world champion Max Verstappen admitted he also is yet to see the real RB19 that he hopes will guide him to a third successive world crown, not that he seemed particularly bothered.

“To be honest, I haven’t seen it [the car],” Verstappen said. “I’ve only spoken about the performance upgrades in terms of lap time and behaviour.

“I haven’t seen any pictures or renders because I’m not interested in these kinds of things. I only want a fast car. And it doesn’t matter how it looks like to me.”

Max Verstappen during a photo shoot of the kit launch of Red Bull Racing in London, UK in 2023 | Red Bull Content Pool

The Dutchman secured the 2022 title at a canter, winning a record 15 races, but doesn’t expect to have it so easy when racing resumes and has tipped Mercedes to bounce back and mount a serious challenge.

“For sure they [Mercedes] will be a main our main rival, but also I think Ferrari will be strong,” he added. “How strong, it’s difficult to say.

“But Mercedes has shown, of course, over the last few years that they’ve always been really, really strong. And they have a good group of people as well.

“But I trust in my people in Milton Keynes that they can build a very strong car as well together with our engine as well. I hope that we again have a strong package against them.”

Andrew Wright
Andrew Wright
Sports Journalist for
- Advertisment -


Charles Leclerc Monaco GP record: Ferrari star out to banish seven-year curse

After growing up in Monaco, Charles Leclerc must know the streets of Monte Carlo like the back of his...
Joey Logano leads the field at the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway | NASCAR

Was the NASCAR All-Star Race’s option tyre a success?

The NASCAR All-Star Race is often used as a testing ground for concepts that might be incorporated into points...
McLaren F1 launch bespoke Senna livery for the 2024 Monaco GP | McLaren

McLaren unveil stunning Senna tribute livery for 2024 Monaco GP

McLaren have announced a special Ayrton Senna-inspired livery for the 2024 Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, celebrating the legendary...
Lewis Hamilton during 2024 Australian GP | Mercedes / Sulay Kelly

Race to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes down to two candidates

As Lewis Hamilton prepares to leave Mercedes for Ferrari ahead of the 2025 Formula 1 season, there has been...
Ollie Bearman with his new helmet ahead of his practice outing in Imola for Haas

Haas boss outlines how Oliver Bearman can secure 2025 F1 seat after Imola audition

Oliver Bearman has been hailed for his faultless performance by Haas team principal Ayao Komatsu in practice at the...

Esteban Ocon tempted by Mercedes 2025 switch as Alpine doubts emerge

Esteban Ocon has opened the door to replacing Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, as the Alpine driver ponders his future...
Toto Wolff at 2023 United States Grand Prix | Mercedes / Sebastian Kawka

Toto Wolff ‘can’t wait’ to prove Horner wrong after latest Mercedes jibe

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has fired back at Christian Horner for suggesting over 200 employees left Mercedes for Red...
Race winner Max Verstappen and runner-up Lando Norris of McLaren celebrate on the podium after the 2024 Emilia Romagna GP | Mark Thompson/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Winners and Losers from 2024 Emilia Romagna GP

Lando Norris' miraculous late-race pace brought a previously lacklustre 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to life as the McLaren...
Max Verstappen leads Lando Norris of McLaren at the start of the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Driver Ratings – Emilia Romagna GP 2024

Max Verstappen returned to the top of the podium after seeing off a late challenge from Lando Norris to...
Scott McLaughlin at 2024 Indy 500 Pole Day | Penske Entertainment: Joe Skibinski

Scott McLaughlin secures pole for Indy 500, as Team Penske sweep front row

Scott McLaughlin clinched the P1 Award in IndyCar's Fast Six qualifying for the 108th Indy 500, leading Team Penske...
- Advertisment -