While Christian Horner is adamant his team will feel the effects of the penalty and be caught up later in the year, Vasseur claims that the margin of superiority Red Bull retains demonstrates that it hasn’t penalised the Austrian camp as much as it should have.
“It means that for me the penalty is marginal,” Vasseur said yesterday. “They did a good job but I’m still convinced that the penalty was very light.
“You should consider the rate of development that we are doing this season – if you consider the fact that if you have a 10% ban it’s at the end, it’s not something linear.”
“And then you can spend what you are saving in the wind tunnel, you can spend it somewhere else, on the weight saving and so on.
“I’m not sure that the effect is mega if you consider that you had an advantage at the beginning of the season because you spend more the year before.”
Despite Vasseur’s remonstrations, the ex-Alfa Romeo team principal accepts that Red Bull has still done the best job with its 2023 package.
“I don’t want to say that they didn’t do a good job because I think honestly, that they did a very good job on the car,” he added.
“I am not trying to make an excuse at all. It’s not this. But if you ask me if the penalty is too light, I say yes.”
After two victories for defending champion Max Verstappen either side of a win for Sergio Perez in Saudi Arabia, Red Bull have already stretched out a comfortable 58-point lead in the teams’ standings.
The nature of Red Bull’s advantage over the field at the season-opener in Bahrain prompted Mercedes driver George Russell to state the RB19 would win every single race this season.
Verstappen previously broke the record for most victories in an F1 campaign in 2022 when he stormed to 15 wins to secure his second consecutive Drivers’ title.
The Dutchman is aiming to become only the fifth driver in history to become a three-time World Champion consecutively, while Red Bull is also targeting a sixth Constructors’ triumph.