Red Bull’s Christian Horner has explained his team’s strategy for allocating resources for 2023 and 2024 – as the Austrian outfit looks to overcome the wind tunnel penalty that emerged as a huge F1 news story last season.
After receiving wind tunnel restrictions for exceeding the budget cap last season, Red Bull has shown great innovation and efficiency to maintain their advantage over the field.
If anything, amidst the internal difficulties at Mercedes and Ferrari, the RB19 is more dominant than last year’s Championship-winning RB18 was – certainly at this stage of the year.
Having established a strong foundational concept for these regulations, which has seen others bringing updates that converge with Red Bull’s design, the team continues to excel amidst restrictions.
However, the introduction of significant updates from Aston Martin and Mercedes saw the gap to Red Bull substantially reduced – with even Ferrari’s SF-23 showing signs of life.
Christian Horner’s squad still has a comfortable advantage, and they can likely secure the 2023 Championship even if next year’s car becomes prioritised.
Speaking at the Canadian GP, the Red Bull team principal outlined what the approach will be for 2023 and heading into 2024:
“It’s finding that balance; we obviously have a lot less wind tunnel time,” he told Sky Sports.
“We have to apply that. We have to start thinking a lot about next year – we’re spinning a couple of plates at the moment.
“With the regulations being stable, whatever you learn this year, you carry into next year as well.
“Of course, there are things that we’ll still keep bringing to this year’s car. But a lot of the focus back in the factory is already on next year’s car.”
As mentioned by Horner, the continuity between this season and the next means that improvements introduced in the coming months will carry over through the winter break.
Returning to the battle at the front of the field, the final sequence of races before the summer break will allow a clearer picture of the pecking order to emerge.
There is no denying that Red Bull sits on top, but it is unknown how far Aston Martin, Mercedes and Ferrari can close the gap in 2023 – which is a story that will surely dominate F1 news stories in the coming weeks.
More fundamental issues with the Mercedes and Ferrari concept have complicated their efforts to develop this season, whilst Aston Martin has spent the last few months familiarising itself with the AMR23.
Therefore, with Red Bull suffering no major hiccups from a development standpoint, the pressure is on the chasing pack to apply some pressure on the reigning Champions.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang