Max Verstappen says Red Bull ‘never really talk about’ budget cap punishment

The FIA hit Red Bull with a penalty last October for breaching the 2021 budget cap.

With Red Bull having launched their 2023 challenger last Friday, the Austrians are edging ever closer to starting the defence of their 2022 Constructors’ Championship, something which is already in jeopardy.

Without even trying to beat their opponents at Ferrari and Mercedes, Red Bull are having to overcome their budget cap penalty, of which they’ve served a quarter of.

The Milton Keynes-based side were, of course, awarded a hefty penalty after being deemed to have made a ‘minor’ breach of the 2021 budget cap, with the punishment having started in October.

The FIA fined Red Bull $7 million and awarded them a 10-percent reduction in permitted aerodynamic research for 12 months.

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The latter means that the Austrians are having to deal with less wind tunnel time, something which team principal Christian Horner revealed is “limiting significantly” how many runs they can do in the wind tunnel.

“We’re probably 25% almost of the way through that penalty and, of course, it has an effect,” Horner said.

“It’s limiting significantly, the amount of runs that we can do in our wind tunnel over each quarter.

“And I think that the team, they’re having to adapt to that. And it just means you have to be a bit more focused, and more disciplined in what we put through the testing process within the tunnel or within our simulation tools.

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“So it’s another challenge and it’s a handicap for sure, coming into this year, but we’ve got very capable people that are looking to obviously extract the best that we possibly can and apply ourselves in the most efficient and effective way.”

The penalty will also make Max Verstappen’s title challenge that much more difficult, as the Dutchman attempts to defend his Drivers’ Championship once again.

Interestingly, though, the double World Champion admitted that the team “never really talk” about the penalty, with the side being so determined on the task at hand.

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” I don’t think it’s hanging over us because we never really talk about it,” the Dutchman told media, including Mirror Sport.

“We just focus on what we’re doing right now, putting everything on the car that we’re developing – and to try to hit the ground running very well, have a better start than we had last year.

“From there on, we’ll see. It’s difficult to predict what will happen. Are we good enough? Quick enough? I don’t know. We have to focus on ourselves, that’s the only thing we can control. And then we’ll find out where we end up.”