The Formula 1 world was shocked at the Singapore Grand Prix when rumours began to circulate that Red Bull had breached the cost cap during the season where Max Verstappen narrowly beat Lewis Hamilton to his first world title.
The team were eventually found guilty of a minor breach of the cost cap, meaning that the team were not docked any points, keeping Verstappen’s maiden title intact, but they were given a sporting and financial penalty.
Alongside a $7m fine, Red Bull saw ten percent of their wind tunnel testing time for 2023 taken away, a punishment which team principal Christian Horner called ‘draconian’.
The Red Bull boss suggested that this punishment could cost his team up to half a second in laptime, which would make a significant difference to the team’s title hopes.
Formula 1 Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds has now responded to Horner’s comments, claiming that he has no sympathy for Red Bull after having to deal with budgets during his time with Williams.
“I spent 42 years as an inventor in Formula 1, I always had a cost cap – we called it a budget. And that was the amount we are allowed to spend,” said Symonds to Autosport.
“When I hear certain people whinging on about the fact ‘oh, we’ve had an accident, so you know, we need more money’. Yeah, I’ve had accidents as well.
“And I remember one year we had a very, very good development programme going, and we had one of those periods in Monza onwards, I can’t remember what year it was [but] it was in the 90s, and we just had accident after accident after accident.
“The budget didn’t change, so we had to stop the development programme we were working on – so I have slightly less than zero sympathy.”
Red Bull’s technical director Adrian Newey has disagreed with Horner’s claims that their penalty could have a significant impact, claiming that he doesn’t expect to see much of a difference at all.
It has been argued that Red Bull’s penalty should have been harsher, as they can now focus their time and money of different things other than wind tunnel testing, they simply just have to be more selective with what they choose to test.