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Domenicali still expects wind tunnel penalty to affect Red Bull later on

Domenicali still expects wind tunnel penalty to affect Red Bull later on

08-03-2023 09:57 Last update: 10:15


Stefano Domenicali thinks it is too early to speak of another dominant season for Red Bull. Speaking to Italian MediaSet the Formula 1 boss claims that the penalty for breaking the budget cap is still going to have an effect on Red Bull, although he did acknowledge that the team has a very strong driver with Max Verstappen.

Verstappen and Red Bull were unbeatable in Bahrain: the Dutchman won with a ten-second lead over teammate Sergio Perez and over 35 seconds over third place Fernando Alonso. Red Bull Racing advisor Helmut Marko recently explained that the team was able to anticipate well the limited time in the wind tunnel this year, limiting the negative effects. So the team seems to be in a good position to take on the rest of the season.

Still, Domenicali thinks things could turn out differently. "We saw it last year when - after three races - there was a Ferrari in top form, with many points clear and everyone said the season was over," Domenicali looked back. "But then it turned out differently. Red Bull showed its strength on the field, but we must not forget that there are important constraints. Last year Red Bull had to pay a fine for breaking the budget cap, meant to have a certain effect during the world championship that just started. Every race is different from the last, the only constant value is Verstappen who is very hard to beat."

'Verstappen is a driver who is unlikely to make mistakes'

So how come Verstappen is so strong on the track? Domenicali does have an explanation for that. "The key to Verstappen's success is that he is different from others and he doesn't have to imitate anyone. I remember Raikkonen being himself: from a relational point of view, he certainly did not generate sympathy, but he had fans all over the world. Verstappen has his own strength, he is a Formula 1 driver and is only concerned with Formula 1. I think he is more mature than a few years ago, when he was much more boisterous. Now he is a racer who is unlikely to make any mistakes and stays completely focused on what he is doing."