Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has issued a defiant message in response to the punishment handed down by the FIA for his team’s breach of budget cap regulations in the 2021 season.
Along with a £6m fine, Red Bull will also face a reduction in aerodynamic testing time by 10% over the next year. This is a significant blow for the team, as they already have less testing time than any other team on the grid due to their championship-winning performance in the previous year.
The budget cap penalty will increase the size of this deficit, making it even more difficult for Red Bull to compete with their rivals. Horner acknowledged the impact this punishment will have on Red Bull’s car development, but insisted that the team will “think smarter and be more selective” in their testing and “get on with it” in order to succeed. Specifically, the punishment means that Red Bull will have 38 wind tunnel runs and 130 computational fluid dynamics items fewer than Ferrari, who finished as runners-up in 2022.
This reduction in testing time will not only impact Red Bull’s efforts to improve their 2023 car, but also their upgrades throughout the season as well as their 2024 campaign. As a result, it is vital that Red Bull get off to a strong start in the coming season, as they may struggle to catch up with their rivals later on if they fall behind.
Despite the challenges they face, Horner remains confident that Red Bull can rise to the occasion. “If any team can cope with [the reduced testing time], we can,” he said. “We just need to adapt. What we have lost in wind tunnel time, we have gained in motivation.” It remains to be seen whether Red Bull will be able to overcome this obstacle and continue their success in Formula 1, but one thing is for certain: they will not go down without a fight.