Red Bull have had a stellar 2023 season, but team principal, Christian Horner, says that despite that they still don’t know the full ramifications of their cost cap penalty.
A year ago, Red Bull were found in breach of the cost cap for the 2021 season which means the team were faced with fines and limited wind tunnel and CFD development time. This means that Red Bull have the least amount of development time of all the times by quite a margin.
While this hasn’t affected the RB19, next year’s RB20 may not be so lucky, according to Horner.
“Certainly, you’ve not seen the full impact yet because it obviously has compromised the amount of development that we’ve been able to do this year,” Horner said.
“Thankfully, we came out with a very strong car at the beginning of the year and we’ve been able to apply most of that development time, from quite early in the season, to next year’s car. So, that’s been important.
“With the wind tunnel restrictions that we’ve had, we’ve elected to use that on RB20, next year’s car, as opposed to continuing development on RB19.”
No team was found in breach of the cost cap in 2022, after a laborious and improved audit process that Horner believes is evolving in the right direction.
“It’s a very complex set of regulations that has evolved and the degree of scrutiny this year was phenomenal, in terms of the rigour that the FIA went to,” he explained.
“It was a full colonoscopy that we experienced during the summer. And I think that the FIA is learning as well.
“Of course, every company is structured in a slightly different way as well which adds to the complexity, whether you’ve got subsidiary accounts or what your reporting group is.
“I think the FIA has actually done a pretty decent job from what we’ve seen over the last 12 months.”
The FIA is actively helping teams report their expenses because it is “easy to make a mistake,” according to acting Alpine team principal, Bruno Famin.
“We’re working in Formula 1, Formula E, Le Mans and trying to assign the right expense to the right project is sometimes very difficult,” the Frenchman added.
“The FIA is helping us to try to make it clear, as we are trying to help the FIA as well to improve their process because it’s so complex that it’s quite easy to make a mistake somewhere or to make a misinterpretation of what they want.”