Red Bull technical director Adrian Newey has admitted that he was worried about his 2012 car would perform on track before the season got underway.
The team had been forced into radical changes to its car for the campaign after the ban on blown diffusers, which had been a key part of its success in winning the titles in both 2010 and 2011.
It means there was no dominance that Red Bull had enjoyed twelve months earlier when the season got underway in Australia – even though the end result would be double title glory when the year drew to a close.
However, in an interview with Autosprint
, Newey admitted that it had been a much more difficult campaign for the Milton Keynes-based outfit before the title.
"Unfortunately, we realised even before the season that it would take some time to understand the car," he said. "We were worried. The problem was with the 'blown' exhausts that we introduced in 2010 and around which we completely designed the 2011 car.
"Everything, including the position of the batteries, was based on it."
With further changes in place for 2013, Newey admitted it was something of a headache for designers seeking to find an advantage for their respective teams.
"The fact is that the so-called 'spirit of the regulations' doesn't really exist,” he said. "If you find a gap that allows you to defeat the purpose of the existing rule, but without violating the letter of the regulation, then we need to see if it is feasible.
"That is the true nature of F1. Yes, we have found some possibilities that maybe the rules do not provide for, but are not prohibited.
"It makes other people mad, but I get sick of being constantly under attack, as the reality is that the other teams and the FIA have always kept an eye on us.
"But they never find any rule that we have broken."