Formula 1’s top team Red Bull continues to be in high spirits after its double victory at the Miami Grand Prix. Team boss Christian Horner was even in such a good mood that he launched into a small but subtle jibe against the competition from Mercedes and Ferrari.
Red Bull is simply unbeatable so far this Formula 1 season. At the Miami Grand Prix, another driver from the Austrian racing team was on top. This time it was Max Verstappen again, who had previously won in Australia and Bahrain, while team-mate Sergio Perez secured success in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan – where he also won Saturday’s sprint.
Red Bull unbeatable
The Red Bull drivers were able to celebrate a double success no less than four times, proving their superiority in every race. In Miami, Verstappen even drove from ninth place to the front without any problems within the first third of the race. The first chaser of the bull duo was once again Fernando Alonso, who, however, was already more than 20 seconds behind the high-flyers in his Aston Martin. There was no sign of Mercedes and Ferrari, both self-proclaimed title contenders. A circumstance that obviously pleased Red Bull’s team boss Christian Horner in particular.
“Five races, five wins, plus the sprint, four double wins. We’ve never had a start like this before,” Horner cheered on Sky after the Miami GP, adding meaningfully with a view to the Silver Arrows and the Reds:
“We ask ourselves: where are the others?”
His racing team had made “normal progress” over the winter, Horner piled on, only to add more jibes against the competition:
“But where have Ferrari and Mercedes actually disappeared to?”
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Red Bull upgrades still have to wait
Indeed, neither rival was able to match the Red Bulls’ pace at any stage of the race. George Russell ended up fourth in his Mercedes, further behind third-placed Alonso. Record world champion Lewis Hamilton was sixth. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) still managed to finish in fifth place, while his colleague Charles Leclerc barely managed to finish in P7.
In order to reduce the gap to Red Bull, the Red Bull rivals, who originally started the season as title contenders, want to score points with upgrades in the coming European races (Imola, Monaco, Spain). Will that be enough?
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Horner, at any rate, hopes his team will stay ahead. “Because of the penalty we have to upgrade our car later in the year”; Horner explained. Therefore, “it is important for us to get as much distance as possible between us and the competition”.
Because Red Bull is allowed to spend less time in the wind tunnel, Horner assumes that Mercedes and Ferrari will come closer towards the end of the year. Until then, however, the British driver is likely to have a few more words to say.
Red Bull penalty still being served
F1’s governing body, the FIA, has handed Red Bull a $7m fine and a 10 per cent reduction in aerodynamic testing time after finding them guilty of a “minor” breach of the $145m spending limit set during Max Verstappen’s maiden title-winning campaign.
Red Bull were required to pay their $7 million fine to the FIA within 30 days under the terms of the Accepted Breach Agreement (ABA).
Importantly, the penalty does not affect the Red Bull budget for 2023. It is still a hefty fine. However, it is dwarfed by the record $100m fine imposed on McLaren for the 2007 F1 spygate scandal.
The most damaging element of Red Bull’s punishment is the 12-month restriction on car development time. This came into effect immediately this year and is the main reason for the delayed development cycle for Verstappen’s and Perez’s 2023 challenge.
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When Lando met Letty 🤩#FastX star @MRodOfficial is in the passenger seat for a change, as @LandoNorris shows her around the Miami International Autodrome for a @pirellisport Hot Lap#MiamiGP @TheFastSaga pic.twitter.com/8mKZ8Q0nXp
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 7, 2023