Christian Horner raises Red Bull and Max Verstappen fears with cost cap comment

Max Verstappen wins third consecutive Formula One world championship

Red Bull’s Christian Horner has warned that the implications of his team’s cost cap penalty are yet to be truly felt. After being found in breach of the 2021 rules, the team were penalised with a fine and a reduction on wind tunnel and CFD developments.

Despite the punishments being put in place, Red Bull still impressed this year as Max Verstappen cruised to his third consecutive World Drivers’ Championship – with Sergio Perez pushing to secure Red Bull a historic one-two.

However, despite the team thriving at present, Horner has warned that the brunt of handicaps has not yet been felt in a concerning admission ahead of 2024. He explained: “Certainly, you’ve not seen the full impact yet because it obviously has compromised the amount of development that we’ve been able to do this year.

“Thankfully, we came out with a very strong car at the beginning of the year and we’ve been able to apply most of that development time, from quite early in the season, to next year’s car. So, that’s been important.

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“With the wind tunnel restrictions that we’ve had, we’ve elected to use that on RB20, next year’s car, as opposed to continuing development on RB19.” Red Bull, along with their nine rivals, were also audited on their 2022 compliance and all 10 teams passed with flying colours.

Such rigorous checks have allowed the FIA to truly get to grips with their own regulations and amend their process to ensure that no stone is left unturned – which Horner has praised. The 49-year-old continued: “It’s a very complex set of regulations that has evolved and the degree of scrutiny this year was phenomenal, in terms of the rigour that the FIA went to. It was a full colonoscopy that we experienced during the summer. And I think that the FIA is learning as well.

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“Of course, every company is structured in a slightly different way as well which adds to the complexity, whether you’ve got subsidiary accounts or what your reporting group is. I think the FIA has actually done a pretty decent job from what we’ve seen over the last 12 months.”

It remains to be seen whether Horner’s fears are realised next season or whether the excellence of Verstappen any sort of handicap from being too detrimental to Red Bull’s hopes of landing another championship success.

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