Liam Lawson, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2022 post-season test

Red Bull’s budget cap penalty “will hurt them to some extent” says team’s ex-designer

2023 F1 season

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Former Red Bull designer Dan Fallows predicts the team will feel the effect of the aerodynamic development penalty which was imposed on it for exceeding the budget cap.

However the Aston Martin technical director said his former squad are well-placed to minimise the consequences of their cut in development time.

Under F1’s rules, as the reigning champions Red Bull were always going to be restricted to a lower aerodynamic development allocation than any of their rivals. However their final quota was reduced from 70% of the reference total to 63% after they were found to have exceeded the budget cap during 2021.

Fallows joined Aston Martin last year having previously worked at Red Bull. He admitted it is “very difficult to say” precisely how and when Red Bull will feel the pinch of the reduction in how many wind tunnel runs and Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations it may conduct. But as they ended last season with by far the strongest car on the grid, winning 10 of the last 11 races, Fallows points out they go into the new campaign at a significant advantage.

Gallery: Aston Martin AMR23
“They’ve come from a very strong position with last year’s car,” said Fallows in response to a question from RaceFans. “There are regulation changes for this year, as we know, but they’re not massive. So they are clearly in a very good, very strong position going into this year.”

Red Bull will also be able to manage the consequences the lower limit has on their development over the season.

“That kind of restriction with your wind tunnel hours – you even get it, obviously, as you go up the grid – that does hurt. I think that restriction will hurt them to some extent.

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“But I think they have a great deal of strength in depth and they have a lot of experience of this rules set. So I’m fairly confident that they will minimise the impacts of that penalty.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner described the limit as “a significant handicap that we carry for the majority of the year.”

*Due to their penalty for exceeding the budget cap in 2021, Red Bull’s allocation this year is reduced from 70% to 63%

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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4 comments on “Red Bull’s budget cap penalty “will hurt them to some extent” says team’s ex-designer”

  1. Non zero impact penalty – ouch.

  2. When the cost caps were announced, Ross Brawn made a clear statement that breaking them could lead to serious consequences, including losing championships. But RB now know that the actual penalties do not matter, in that the championships were not lost. So why would they change course and start caring about following rules and restrictions? Just carry on as usual.

    1. Red Bull had a minor breach, which already had allocated to it a range of minor penalties.
      A major breach would be punished with a major penalty (such as being DSQ’d from a championship result) – if anyone ever wishes to risk it.

      If a team does the same as Red Bull, you’d expect they get a similar penalty for their first offence.
      If Red Bull did the same again, chances are they’d get a larger penalty, as it would be a repeat offence.
      But almost certainly not a DSQ from the championship for a minor breach.

  3. AlphaTauri has second most testing time. Hopefully, their testing is is policed as well as RB.

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