The Red Bull RB17 Isn't an F1 Car, It's an 1100-HP Track Car You Can Buy

·3 min read
Photo credit: Red Bull Advanced Technologies
Photo credit: Red Bull Advanced Technologies

To name its 2022 Formula 1 challenger, Red Bull skipped right from RB16 to RB18, and only now we know why. Red Bull Advanced Technologies announced Tuesday that the RB17 is a two-seat, 1100-hp track car created by F1 design legend Adrian Newey, set to hit production in 2025.

Fifty examples of the RB17 will be built at Red Bull's F1 facility in Milton Keynes, U.K. with prices starting at £5 million ($6.1 million USD at the time of writing). The RB17 will use a carbon composite tub and will feature "the most advanced ground effect package available in a series production car." Its 1100 hp will come from a hybrid V-8, and Red Bull team boss Christian Horner speaking to Motorsport.com says it will have "true Formula 1 performance." In other words, it'll be real fast.

In addition to designing a number of championship-winning F1 cars, Newey was the mind behind the Aston Martin Valkryie, which came about when Red Bull and Aston Martin were in partnership. With Aston Martin becoming its own F1 team under the ownership of Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, the Valkyrie project moved in-house, and it's been a particularly difficult one for the British automaker. Customer deliveries of the Valkyrie have begun, though in a recent column, journalist Chris Harris wrote that "only the most benign chassis mode is working and they will all need a trip back to a dealer for the spicier stuff to work." Harris also says the customer-spec Valkyries are far heavier than the original 2200 pounds targeted.

The fact that the RB17 isn't done in partnership with anyone else should mean that Newey will be able to see his vision through. "It's great to see that Adrian's enthusiasm is totally undiminished for a project like this," Horner said, according to Motorsport.com. "It's a great project for the whole company as well. Applying Formula 1 methodology and timing to it as well, that was one frustration of working with partners and so on, you weren't in control of your own destiny. With this, we've taken control of our own destiny."

RB17 won't be compromised by any rules and regulations, since it's a track-only project. "The RB17 distills everything we know about creating championship-winning Formula One cars into a package that delivers extreme levels of performance in a two-seat track car," Newey said in a statement. "Driven by our passion for performance at every level, the RB17 pushes design and technical boundaries far beyond what has been previously available to enthusiasts and collectors."

Quite obviously, the price for an RB17 is high, but Red Bull was quick to point out that ownership also grants access to Red Bull simulators and track instruction. A lot of pay drivers have put up a lot more for that sort of thing, so on some (absurd) level, it seems like a bargain. If you want one, get in touch with Red Bull soon.

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