Christian Horner fires warning about Red Bull’s Cashgate penalty

Red Bull were awarded a 12-month 10-percent reduction in wind tunnel time following their breach of the 2021 budget cap.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is confident that the Austrians can “extract more performance from the car” as the season develops, with the new aerodynamic regulations still being “relatively young”.

Red Bull have enjoyed a sensational start to the new era of F1, with the side having claimed their first Constructors’ Championship since 2013 last season.

Max Verstappen, of course, also claimed a comfortable second title last year, with the Dutchman looking set to be right in the mix again this season.

Red Bull have entered 2023 even stronger than they entered last season and are by far the strongest team on the grid, with Horner being aware that his side must “make hay” whilst they are as dominant as they are.

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“It’s so early in the season,” he said in an interview on a Sky TV business programme.

“I mean, it’s a 23-race calendar, we’ve done two races in Bahrain and Jeddah so far.

“And the venues vary a great deal, it’s Australia in just over a week’s time, so I’m sure it’s going to ebb and flow. But we’re hopeful that we can extract more performance from the car.

“The regulations are still relatively young. It’s only the second year of these new regulations. So I’m expecting to see an awful lot of convergence during the course of the year, and the grid is going to tighten up.

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“So we need to make hay while the sun shines at the moment while we’ve got a competitive car, and just keep pushing through the season.”

Red Bull are somewhat in a race against time to build as big an advantage as possible in the championship before their budget cap penalty really begins to hurt them, with many expecting the Austrians to weaken mid-season when their rivals introduce large aero upgrades.

Horner has admitted that it’s “so critical” for Red Bull to start 2023 strongly given that they are unsure just how much their wind tunnel penalty will affect them, or how quickly their rivals will be able to hunt them down.

“It was so critical for us to come out of the blocks competitively,” Horner told

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“The wind tunnel reduction has applied since last October.

“So we couldn’t afford to miss the target with that limited running, because you’d never be able to engineer your way out of that with that handicap. The team has done an amazing job and the RB19 has been the best start to a season we’ve ever had.

“We’re only two races in, but to have had two 1-2 finishes, and be one point off the maximum score, I don’t think we could have ever dreamed about that coming into the season.”