Former Toto Wolff Aide Disagrees With His Dubious Red Bull Prediction

Somin Bhattacharjee
|Published 18/03/2023

Red Bull’s start to the 2023 season has been perfect up until now. At the opening race in Bahrain, their drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez dominated the rest of the field to finish 1-2. This dominance prompted multiple figures in F1 including Mercedes’ George Russell and Toto Wolff to claim that Red Bull will win every single race this year.

Understandably, not many people agree with this, and even former Mercedes’ chief strategist, James Vowles rubbished these claims. Vowles, who is now the team principal of Williams, feels that winning every single race is going to be very difficult, even for a team as good as Red Bull.

In fact, Vowles feels that Red Bull won’t even be dominant in the first part of the season. Like many others, he insists that Ferrari will be close to Verstappen and co. in Jeddah when the Saudi Arabian GP kicks off. Vowles added that their reduced wind tunnel time will affect them in races to come.

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Vowles reveals when Toto Wolff and Mercedes will bounce back

Vowles worked with Mercedes until the 2022 season, a year that saw Toto Wolff and the Silver Arrows struggle immensely. They won just one race last year and headed into the 2023 campaign with hopes of bouncing back to the front of the grid.

Unfortunately, they’ve had a woeful start to the year with the W14 and Lewis Hamilton has spoken about how the car has similar problems to its predecessor. Vowels, on the other hand, is confident about his former team bouncing back and even agreed to give a time frame.

According to the 43-year-old, tracks like Silverstone, Barcelona, and Hungary will suit Mercedes well. This is based on the package that he saw was under development while he was still in Brackley.

Also read: Painful Lewis Hamilton Sound Bite An Ill-Omen For Saudi Arabian GP Weekend

Aerodynamics will affect Red Bull, says Vowles

Red Bull were found guilty of breaching the cost cap in 2022 and were given a severe penalty for the same. The Milton-Keynes-based outfit have a 10% deduction in their wind-tunnel time, and even though they look unstoppable in the early stages, Vowles is adamant that it will catch up to them.

“On balance across the season do I think they’re the fastest? Yes, but they still have a wind tunnel deficit,” he said to “It’s not as big as I think it necessarily should be to balance things out. “But it’s still there.”

Heading into the Saudi Arabian GP this weekend, Red Bull look like they’re the strongest yet again. The Aston Martins of Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll, however, looked strong enough to challenge for the top on Friday.

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About the author
Somin Bhattacharjee

Somin Bhattacharjee

Somin Bhattacharjee is an F1 writer at The SportsRush. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and aims to work in the sports industry for the rest of his life. Somin has been a fan of Scuderia Ferrari since 2010 and his favorite driver is none another than the great Fernando Alonso. Other than longing for a Ferrari Championship win once again, Somin spends his free time playing football and basketball.

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