The Red Bull prediction would have been correct if the FIA/F1 bothered to hand Red Bull a worthwhile overspend penalty!So, with the season done and dusted, let's take a look back and laugh at my pre-season predictions :
On Prediction 1: Bzzzt, fail.
On Prediction 2: Bzzzt, fail.
On Prediction 3: Partial, but more fail than success in the end.
On Prediction 4: I'm going to claim this one as a success. Especially with the latest rumour being that Ricciardo's 2024 contract specifically covers the possibility of him replacing Checo during 2024.
On Prediction 5: Claiming this as well, I think a 7th place WCC finish and some of Albon's heroic drives scores this one as a success.
On Prediction 6: More success than fail. AM lost their way a little and surrendered what looked to be a very secure top-4 WCC result, but form came back a little late season. Alonso, as predicted, led the charge. Failed on the element of Alpine also being a P4 challenger, although they were (a long way back!) the closest team behind AM.
On Prediction 7: Success. Car was a lemon initially, transformed into what would have been a P2 WCC contender if they'd had it from race 1. Both drivers have commented multiple times during the year about the unusual handling characteristics (apparently still there even in the updated car).
On Prediction 8: Sargeant struggled, but was not replaced. So, a fail.
On Prediction 9: Spectacular fail .
On Prediction 10: Big fail here as well. Red Bull did start making noises about the impact of the penalty, but it all went quiet once it was clear they were so far out front they were never getting caught.
Score: 4/10 (3x correct, 1x 0.33, 1x 0.66).
Assessment: Must do better in 2024.
Maybe it wouldn't have mattered with the car being so good anyway in 2022 but the advantage they got as a result of that overspend at the start of the new regs is a contributing factor to how they are able to be so dominant this year.
F1 did their best to neuter Mercedes dominance and bring them back towards the field, be interesting to see whether they try it with Max/RB next year.