Around the time of the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix, rumours began to surface that Red Bull had been found guilty of breaching the 2021 cost cap.
This cap had been introduced to bring the field closer together by limited each team to spending a maximum of $145m per season, preventing the bigger teams from blowing the opposition out of the water financially.
These rumours of an overspend sent the paddock into chaos, with many team principals saying their piece before anything official had even been said by the FIA.
Red Bull were eventually found guilty of a minor breach of the cap, which was also deemed to be accidental by the FIA.
The team were fined $7m and had ten percent of their wind tunnel testing time for 2023 taken away, much to the outrage of some in the paddock.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown even penned a letter to the FIA demanding that Red Bull’s punishment was made much more severe, labelling the team as ‘cheats’ in the process.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff also gave a scathing review of the overspend, claiming that the reputational damage done to Red Bull and their sponsors will be significant.
Despite their testing handicap, Red Bull look to be lightyears ahead of their rivals this season, with a front row lockout converted into a one-two finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The team have looked over a second quicker than their rivals at time so far this season and British journalist Joe Saward has reported that Red Bull are simply getting revenge for how they were treated last year.
“We are now seeing Red Bull’s revenge for last year’s cost cap campaigns that rival teams stirred up. It made RB people angry,” he tweeted.
“When one team blows the others away, the rivals start to fray at the edges. Watch now as people get fired and structures are rethought.”
Red Bull were furious at how they were treated last season, as rival teams were calling them cheats and demanding severe punishments weeks before anything official had even been released about the cost cap breach.
With clearly the quickest car on the grid so far this season, Red Bull will be enjoying the opportunity to cruise to another championship this season while their rivals struggle.