Mercedes Impacted More By F1 Budget Cap Than Red Bull, Horner Says

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has speculated that his team have been less impacted by F1’s recently introduced budget cap than Mercedes.

The sport adopted a budget cap for the first time in its history this year, with each team prohibited from spending more than $145 million this campaign, though certain expenses, such as driver salaries, are excluded from the cap.

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Red Bull are one of the only teams who are still allocating a lot of resources to developing their 2021 package, with most of their rivals already shifting focus to 2022.

This is because sweeping regulation changes will come into effect next season, meaning that performance gains made this year won’t be carried over like usual.

Asked about Red Bull’s decision to continue to develop their 2021 car, Horner said they want to give themselves the best chance of winning this year’s Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships.

“It is embedded in who we are as a race team that it’s not in our culture to give up on any season,” Horner said in an interview with Autosport

“Of course we have the constraints of the budget cap as well, which makes life slightly more complicated.  

“But people have short term memories in this sport, and you’ve got to go for it.  

“Every race is an opportunity and if it means people have to work a little bit harder, and a few longer hours to enable that, then absolutely everybody is up to that challenge.” 

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Asked if he was surprised by Mercedes’ decision to stop developing their 2021 package so early in the season, Horner suggested that as they are a larger organisation, they are being impacted more severely by the budget cap than Red Bull.

“I don’t know what their constraints are. Obviously they’re a bigger organisation than we are, so [the] cost cap is having a significant impact on their planning and how they’ve managed during the COVID period,” he said.

“We’ve managed to keep the body of the team very much together.  

“I can’t judge other organisations without having all the facts, so all I can do is focus on what we’re doing. And we’re very comfortable with the approach that we are taking.  

“Obviously if they are two seconds ahead of us at the first race next year, that will be disappointing. But I feel that we’ve got the balance about right at the moment.”  

Red Bull will go into the Belgian Grand Prix 12 points adrift of Mercedes, while Max Verstappen has an eight-point deficit to Sir Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers’ Standings.