Finally F1’s big technical row of the season over the 2021 financial regulations appears to have blown over yet another is bubbling away in the pipeline. Red Bull racing were found to have made a ‘minor overspend’ of around $500,000 and fined $7m and penalised 10% of the aero development time for 12 months.
Christian Horner though claimed he believed more than half the F1 grid is a risk this season of breaching the 2022 cost cap but believes Red Bull Racing will not be one of them.
Red Bull “one off” items not repeated this year
The Red Bull boss explains a number of the spending items included in Red Bull’s 2021 accounting were one off’s.
“The effects that we’ve had this year, the material effect that they carry over into 2022, a lot of these costs are one-off costs.” he said at the Mexican GP.
Further Red Bull are not one of the six teams Horner identified as at risk of breaching the 2022 spending limits due to other teams greater development of their cars in season.
“If I look at the 2022 rate of development, I think that other teams have put significantly more components on the car than us this year.”
Less crash damage for Red Bull than others
Further Red Bull have spent way less repairing their cars than other teams during the 2022 season.
“If you look at crash damage alone, which again, is hugely expensive, and something I think that needs personally looking at within the cap – when you look at the quantum of some of the crashes this year, some of which are not the fault of your driver or your team, Max Verstappen is the driver that has incurred the least amount of damage this year. In terms of parts used, again, we are at the lower end.”
Horner further revealed that Red Bull Racing are sixth in the list of the most weight carried to the 2022 F1 events. Team’s are charged per kilo for transport and air freight to the flyaway races has been particularly punitive given global inflation and huge rise in fuel costs.
Ferrari upgrades dried up in Monza
The impact of the 2022 spending limit has already hit Ferrari in particular. The last major upgrade to the Maranello cars came in 6 rounds ago in Monza though the team did bring a ‘minor’ upgrade to the floor for the Japanese GP.
Team boss Mattia Binotto now admits the upgrades dried up due to the 2022 cost cap.
“It was not a choice,” he said, “we simply finished the money for the budget cap.”
“So simply we were at the cap and had no more opportunity of developing the car. So we simply stayed where we were.”
Hitting the cost cap brings problems for replacement parts
The problem for Ferrari is that being close to the limit so early in the season makes it difficult for them to judge how much more will be required to build replacement parts and the number of new parts required depends largely on the amount of crash damage a team suffers with its cars.
“We didn’t compromise next year’s car development, but certainly we decided to stop the current one,” said Binotto. “Because on top of this normal development, on the current one, you would need to produce the parts and bring them on-track. And that was the extra cost that we couldn’t afford.”
The German media have questioned the amount of development Mercedes has brought to its car in an attempt to win at least one race this season. One analyst claims its on a par if not more than the in season development by Red Bull during the 2021 F1 calendar.
Mercedes brings the most car upgrades in 2022
The amount of Red Bull car developments for 2021 was questioned by Lewis Hamilton when the first leak of their spending breach occurred.
“I remember last year in Silverstone we had our last upgrade and fortunately it was great and we could fight with it,” he told Sky. “But then we would see Red Bull every weekend or every other weekend bring in upgrades. They had, I think, at least four more upgrades from that point.”
The roles are now reversed as Mercedes has poured upgrade after upgrade into the failing W13 car though the result last time out in a Brazil was the first 1-2 for the team this year.
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 15, 2022