Ex-F1 engineer has ‘zero sympathy’ for Horner over budget cap worries

Horner opens up on Red Bull's 'barren spell' amid Mercedes dominance

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Former F1 engineer Pat Symonds has claimed he has “zero sympathy” for budget cap complaints amid remarks from team bosses including Christian Horner. Symonds hit back at teams for “whinging” about following the cost cap regulations.

The former Williams man even hinted teams should just react to increased costs by making tough decisions on their development programme. Speaking at Autosport International. Symonds said: “I spent 42 years as an inventor in Formula 1, I always had a cost cap – we called it a budget. And that was the amount we are allowed to spend.

“When I hear certain people whinging on about the fact ‘oh, we’ve had an accident, so you know, we need more money’. Yeah, I’ve had accidents as well. And I remember one year we had a very, very good development programme going, and we had one of those periods in Monza onwards, I can’t remember what year it was [but] it was in the 90s, and we just had accident after accident after accident.

“The budget didn’t change, so we had to stop the development programme we were working on – so I have slightly less than zero sympathy.”

Red Bull chief Horner has been among the most vocal calling for F1 teams to have an increased allowance. Back in May, he predicted at least seven of the teams would “miss the last four races” if the cost threshold was not increased.

The FIA eventually relented and allowed teams an extra three per cent due to rising prices. However, Horner still wasn’t satisfied, suggesting that the bigger teams needed more money to run their operation.

He said: “Is it enough? Not compared to inflation, and what it is today, It’s not enough for us, and it’s too much for the little ones. So it’s a compromise, and a consensus was found in the end.”

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By October, Red Bull were found guilty of breaking the 2021 budget ca[ rules after spending an extra £432,000 ($500,000). The team were slapped with a major fine and also handed a 10 per cent reduction in wind tunnel testing and CFD development.

Horner then hit back at the penalty as a “draconian” measure which could cost the team half a second per lap in 2023. Haas boss Guenther Steiner has also been fearful of F1’s budget cap after Mick Schumacher suffered a series of heavy crashes in 2022.

He wrote off his car in a massive qualifying shunt in Saudi Arabia and then suffered accidents in Monaco and Japan. But, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff revealed there was an “allowance” within the cost cap to adjust figures for big crashes.

This means teams will be allowed to spend extra if there is a need to build a new chassis.

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