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Horner: Red Bull ‘significantly’ handicapped by cost cap penalty

The Red Bull boss opens up on the development of the RB19 and how their 2021 cost cap breach is coming back to bite them

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Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner believes the cost cap penalty has “significantly” impacted the team during the development of their 2023 car.

After Red Bull was found guilty of a minor overspend of the 2021 cost cap by 1.6%, the FIA punished Horner’s team. A $7 million fine, reduced wind tunnel and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) time over a period of 12 months was slapped onto the team.

In an interview with RACER, Horner opened up on how the restrictions have been hampering the team whilst also explaining how the team is doing its best to minimise their effect.

We’re probably 25% almost of the way through that penalty, and of course it has an effect,” he said.

“It’s limiting significantly, the amount of runs that we can do in our wind tunnel over each quarter.

“I think that the team are they’re having to adapt to that.

“It just means you have to be a bit more focused, and more disciplined in what we put through the testing process within the tunnel or within our simulation tools.”

Few of Red Bull's cars have failed to win a race. The 2021 RB16B took its first championship (Image Credit: @redbullracing on Twitter)
Red Bull will be looking to replicate their 2022 dominance in 2023. (Image Credit: @redbullracing on Twitter)
Red Bull’s cost cap criticism

Despite the challenges posed by the cost cap penalty, Horner has a positive outlook on the principle behind the financial regulations.

“I think the principle of it is great and it’s driven efficiency,” Horner said.

“If I look at the business now, compared to where it was four or five years ago, we’d have ended up with a lot of stock of spare parts that were brand new that had never been used, and then they’re just scrap.

So now you just can’t afford to have that. You’ve got to be so effective and efficient.”

Although Horner acknowledges that the regulations are still evolving and maturing and will create a more level playing field in Formula 1, he does see some discrepancies between the financial regulations for the chassis and engine. Horner thinks that these need to be balanced for consistency.

“At the moment, we’re seeing a discrepancy between chassis financial regs and engine financial regs that on the chassis side, they can have a Christmas party, on the power unit side, they can’t!

“So there’s certain things that I think need balancing up so there is a consistency across those caps. But I think on the whole, it’s a very positive thing.”

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