Red Bull team boss Christian Horner asserts that the penalty it was issued for breaching the 2021 budget cap is “significantly limiting” its pre-season development programme.
The Milton Keynes-based squad was the only squad found guilty of exceeding the $145 million cost cap in 2021, the first year it was in use.
As a result, it was fined $7m while it was also docked wind tunnel and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) time.
The penalty marked a further hit to Red Bull’s development time, as it already had less compared to the rest of the grid on account of finishing at the head of the Constructors’ Championship last year.
“We’re probably 25 per cent almost of the way through that penalty, and of course it has an effect,” Horner told RACER.
“It’s limiting significantly, the amount of runs that we can do in our wind tunnel over each quarter. And I think that the team are they’re having to adapt to that.
“And 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.
“So it’s another challenge. And it’s a handicap for sure, coming into this year, but we’ve got very capable people that are looking to obviously extract the best that we possibly can and apply ourselves in the most efficient and effective way.”
The budget cap was reduced to $140m for 2022, while there will be another drop to $135m for the upcoming 2023 campaign.
The spending limit was implemented to stop huge differentials between teams on the grid, with the hope of eventually making the field a more equal playground.
Despite Red Bull being one of the top spenders in recent years, Horner admits that he is a fan of the budget restrictions.
“I think the principle of it is great and it’s driven efficiency,” he 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.
“And so now you just can’t afford to have that. You’ve got to be so effective and efficient.
“So I think from that point of view, it has driven great efficiency into the business. It’s got rid of that wastage that was there that nobody saw previously.”