Red Bull facing thorny aero selection dilemma

Christian Horner claims Red Bull's cost cap penalty is proving a thorny problem

Christian Horner claims Red Bull’s cost cap penalty is proving a thorny problem

Christian Horner has revealed Red Bull is needing to be “very selective” as it attempts to meet its budget cap penalty.

Red Bull was found to be in breach of the US$145million cap that was imposed on the F1 teams for the first time in 2021.

When the findings were announced for that year last October, the team was hit with a US$7million fine.

More pertinently, Red Bull was also punished with an immediate 10 percent reduction in its wind tunnel time.

Allied to the additional reduction for winning the constructors’ championship, given the sliding scale imposed on the 10 teams dependent on where they finished in the previous year’s standings, Red Bull has been faced with some tough decisions.

Describing it as a “reduced capacity to develop”, Horner added: “Since October last year, we’ve had to be very selective as to how we use our wind tunnel time.

“We don’t have the ability to just run loads of different ideas and concepts. It has to be very targeted and very focused.

“Thankfully, the basis of the car that we have is a solid starting point.

“I think if we were in Mercedes’ position, plus having to develop our way out of it, then you’d be….”

Horner stopped short of finishing his sentence but you can imagine the likely word to conclude would be ‘worried’ or ‘concerned’.

Horner has confirmed there are processes in place to determine what can and cannot be applied.

“We have a limited amount of runs, so you have to be selective,” he reiterated.

“You can’t run so many iterations. You have to focus and say ‘Okay, well, these are the things that we really want to look at’.

“So it’s being a lot more selective in what you’re able to research, and the aero team is all over that.”

So far, however, there has been little sign on track that Red Bull has been too badly affected as it dominates the constructors’ and drivers’ championships.

The UK-based team has just over double the number of points to its nearest rival Aston Martin, whilst Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez are comfortably ahead in the drivers’ standings, with the duo separated by six points.

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