Christian Horner makes Red Bull demand as they brace for FIA penalty

Red Bull will be hoping to retain the constructors’ championship in 2023, with the trophy now in Milton Keynes for the first time since 2013.

The main concern that team principals had with the cost cap, which was introduced in 2021, was that they did not believe that the integrity of the sport could be maintained if breaches of the cap were not punished accordingly.

Taking this concern seriously, the FIA chose to punish Red Bull with a sporting and financial penalty after they found the team guilty of a minor breach of the 2021 cost cap earlier this year.

The team have already paid their $7m fine and will see their wind tunnel testing time next season cut by ten percent.

Testing time is already scaled down based on a team’s finishing position in the championship, meaning that Red Bull were already set to receive less testing time than all of their rivals due to the fact that they won the constructors’ championship.

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The ten percent reduction in testing time means that the energy drink giants will be significantly hindered compared to the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari in 2023, leading team principal Christian Horner to call for his team to be more intelligent with their allocated time.

“It just means we will have to think smarter and be more selective in what we test and run but we just need to adapt,” explained Horner.

“What we have lost in wind tunnel time, we have gained in motivation and I think that we have just got to get on with it, get our heads down and do the very best job that we can.

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“You can’t be greedy, every single run counts and it has even more of a factor when you think we have potentially 20 percent less than Mercedes, for example, in wind tunnel time.”

The RB-18 was a huge success in the first year of the new era of Formula 1, so Red Bull will be hoping that technical chief Adrian Newey can use some of the knowledge gained in 2022 to create an equally impressive car in 2023, despite their testing handicap.

Ferrari will also be slightly held back next season as they team have to adapt to the leadership of Fred Vasseur, following the resignation of Mattia Binotto, meaning that the door could be open for a quick return to the top for Mercedes after a dreadful 2022 season.