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Red Bull hopes to maintain momentum despite punitive budget cap

Red Bull hopes to maintain momentum despite punitive budget cap

18-12-2022 12:04 Last update: 12:59


After winning both Formula 1 world titles in 2022, Red Bull is the big favourite for next season. However, the team is hampered by the penalty for exceeding the budget cap, further optimising the existing concept. The question arises as to who will benefit, and for whom it will not work.

No big changes are needed for Red Bull. After initial reliability problems, the RB18 dragged in no less than 17 wins in 22 races. The Austrian team's car was particularly impressive in the second half of the season, with Red Bull suffering only one defeat at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

At the beginning of the season, the RB18 still had problems of overweight, but it did not take long for the car to reduce its weight again. The drivers became more confident on the limit and there were fewer slips in the corners. In 2023, Red Bull will continue with the concept, but with the necessary modifications because they never reached the minimum weight of 798 kilograms. The goal for the coming season is that there should be no more overweight cars.

Driving comfort

Max Verstappen would like to see a general adjustment, he revealed in an interview with the German Auto, Motor und Sport. "More driving comfort," he said briefly but firmly. For that to come true, changes in aerodynamics are needed, it mainly concerns the diffuser and the edges of the bottom plate raised by 15 millimetres. Red Bull designer Adrian Newey says:"It sounds small, but in reality it is quite a big change in aerodynamics." According to FIA calculations, it costs about half a second.

The question is whether it hits other teams harder or less hard. "The loss of downforce depends on the ground clearance you drive with. It can be high, but also very small," Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott explained to the German medium. According to Mercedes, Red Bull could have an advantage there, as its engineers had already adjusted the rear end more for the 2022 season.

Budget cap

Red Bull has also had to deal with exceeding its budget ceiling. As punishment, the team will get 10 per cent less time to develop the car. This mainly concerns time in the wind tunnel and computer simulations. Newey cannot estimate how much his team will lose as a result. "It is difficult to give an answer as to what the restrictions will cost us. We can evaluate fewer parts and ideas. If we are super smart and always screw the right part It into our model won't matter much. But that's not how it works. There are always parts you promise that don't work as they should. And vice versa."

World champion Verstappen has blind faith in the engineers within his team despite the harsh punishment: "It's going to hurt us. But I am confident that my team will get it done and we will have a good start. We know where to start and what we need to work on." The Dutchman continued: "We will find out in the course of the year how much we actually suffer. Our car was competitive. If we keep the momentum, we should be fine."

In conclusion, the team says it is preparing for a three-way battle: Mercedes came back strongly at the end of the 2022 season and Ferrari had a good car all season, and thus a good base for the new season.