Red Bull’s technical director Pierre Wache has admitted that the team’s budget cap penalty will “massively” affect their 2024 car, despite the fact they’re winning so easily this season.
The Milton Keynes-based team were slapped with a 10% reduction to their allotted wind tunnel time for 12 months, after being found guilty of breaching the 2021 cost cap.
As it took the FIA so long to award the punishment, it didn’t come into effect until the closing stages of 2022, meaning their penalty will last until the closing stages of 2023.
Due to the timing of their penalty, the side had already designed the bulk of the RB19 prior to it being awarded, with this season’s car having not been impacted too much by the breach.
The only thing to have impacted the RB19 is its upgrades, given that Red Bull can’t spend too long developing improvements in the wind tunnel for their 2023 car.
Thankfully, Red Bull not developing the RB19 as much as they usually would hasn’t hurt them, as proven by the fact that the Austrians have won every race this season.
Red Bull boast a commanding lead in the Constructors’ Championship, to the extent where they look uncatchable.
In theory, Red Bull could switch their focus to 2024, a season where the team are expecting to be impacted.
Teams will usually start working on their car almost a year in advance, something which Red Bull haven’t been able to do to the same extent because of their reduced time in the wind tunnel.
With that in mind, Wache doesn’t think Red Bull’s current superiority has made it “easier” to deal with their budget cap penalty.
“I think it is never easier,” Wache said during a press conference, as reported by GPBlog.com.
“I think it’s never easier. I think the fact that you have a restriction of time in the number of runs of CFD or wind tunnel, I think we had this restriction, it just reduced. It’s not easier because we are leading the championship.
“It’s as difficult, we are going to the limit. I think it could affect for sure the current development of the car and maybe closing the grid this year but also will affect massively the next year car. Then I cannot tell you that it’s easier because we want the best car next year.
“Then it will affect our performance, I don’t know yet.”