Finally, Red Bull was sanctioned with a fine of 7 million dollars (7.04 million euros) and a 10% reduction of its aerodynamic tests for the next 12 months after the lengthy investigations by the FIA revealed that they had passed the budget limit of 1,864,000 pounds (2.1 million euros).
Red Bull director Christian Horner assured that the team had reluctantly accepted the FIA’s proposed sanction, for the good of the category, and described the penalty as “draconian” due to the impact it will have on the development of his team. car for 2023 and 2024.
Red Bull will only have 63% of the wind tunnel testing time compared to the team that finishes seventh in this year’s championship. While its main rivals, Ferrari and Mercedes, will have 75% and 80% if they maintain the current second and third places.
Horner claimed that the lack of aerodynamic testing his team will experience over the next 12 months could cost them between 0.25 and half a second per lap in terms of performance.
But Mercedes engineering director Andrew Shovlin said the penalty “isn’t much more than what you would lose if you were one place higher in the standings”.
“It’s not that big if your position in the championship is two places higher,” Shovlin said during Saturday’s FIA news conference at Formula 1’s 2022 Mexican Grand Prix.
“So I think describing it as draconian is an exaggeration .”
“Reducing the number of tests you can do does limit your freedom when developing a car, but now we are in a regulation that is already well explored. But yes, without a doubt they will have to be more efficient,” added the Mercedes man. .
Shovlin noted that if that 10% less use of time in the wind tunnel was really worth half a second, then “a team that finishes at the back of the grid would have a three-second advantage over the one that is first, and that one doesn’t is the case”.
“A lot depends on how well decisions are made throughout the year,” he said.
“I would have thought maybe it’s going to be a tenth, or maybe two tenths at worst , that’s what it’s going to cost you realistically.”
In reference to the exact number of wind tunnel tests that Red Bull will not be able to carry out due to that 10% penalty exceeding the 2021 spending limit, Shovlin noted that “it would be about four or five tests apart”.
“But I don’t know, I haven’t calculated the exact number,” he said.
“It would be really costly and painful if you’ve chosen a wrong concept and need to go back, because it takes away that freedom to explore different avenues.”
Several teams have questioned the harshness of the sanction, including Ferrari, which said it would have a “very weak” impact on the track performance of energy drinkers, while McLaren boss Andreas Seidl said it would not. matched the offense.
At the same press conference, Alfa Romeo team boss Frederic Vasseur commented that the biggest punishment for Red Bull was “its image” and also mocked the Austrian team’s victimhood.
“If we talk about a technical or sporting penalty, for me it is a bit different. I am not sure that we can get half a second with that 10% of the allocation, or we are very stupid ,” concluded the Swiss team.