Helmut Marko sends Max Verstappen FIA penalty warning

Red Bull have had their wind tunnel testing time decreased by ten percent as punishment for breaching the 2021 cost cap.

In 2021, the gap between the top teams such as Mercedes and the rest of the grid was becoming too large to keep the sport competitive.

Teams like Williams simply could not financially compete with the top teams and the FIA decided to introduce a cost cap to bring the field closer together.

Teams were limited to spending a maximum of $145m over the course of the season and it was shockingly revealed last year that Red Bull had overspent in 2021.

Despite calls from other teams for a severe penalty, Red Bull’s breach was categorised as ‘minor’ and therefore were punished with a $7m fine and had ten percent of their wind tunnel testing time taken away for the following 12 months.

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With their limited testing time in mind, Red Bull evolved their RB18 concept as much as possible over the winter, improving their title winning car to be able to mount another title charge this year.

Red Bull finished 50 seconds ahead of Mercedes at the Bahrain Grand Prix and even Ferrari look unable to lay a glove on the energy drink giants, leading fans to believe that the title could already be sewn up.

Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s chief advisor, has rejected these claims, suggesting that their advantage will begin to fade as teams take advantage of their higher testing time allowance.

“We prepared ourselves optimally for the season,” said the Austrian.

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“Once we knew that this penalty would be imposed, it was clear that, when we went into the wind tunnel, it had to be done in an efficient manner and each run with a clear plan.

“At the moment, we’ve managed to do all that. But of course, as the season progresses and we run out of wind tunnel time, the others will still have that available and our lead will melt away.

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“That’s why it’s extremely important that we take the points with us now.”

Red Bull were forced to manage an issue on both cars towards the end of the Bahrain Grand Prix, suggesting that not everything is as flawless as it seems with the energy drink giants.

The team will be hoping for another strong performance this weekend in Jeddah to allow them to build up a healthy early lead in both championships.