Adrian Newey says the aerodynamic testing penalty that Red Bull is facing for breaching the cost cap, coupled with a change in floor regulations, will have an impact on the team’s performance.
Red Bull was handed a significant fine as well as having its wind tunnel and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) time reduced over the next 12 months by 10% of the team’s total for exceeding the budget cap last year. That penalty comes at the same time as the FIA changing the floor regulations to try and reduce the amount of porpoising seen in 2022, and Red Bull chief technical officer Newey believes the two factors will combine to affect the team.
“There’s no testing, so it’s very difficult to put an answer that will cost us so many tenths of a second per lap,” Newey said. “And the reduction of internal testing means we can therefore evaluate less — less different components, less different ideas…
“If we’re really smart and always put the right things on the model, then it doesn’t make much difference. But that’s not how it works; there are always some parts that you hope will work and don’t and vice versa. So, it’s difficult. It’s a restriction for sure that will affect us.
“I think then there’s a regulation, a small regulation change over the winter, which is lifting of the floor edge by 50 millimeters — which of course sounds tiny but in reality, it’s quite a significant aerodynamic change. So, like all teams we’re working to reduce the deficit from that in addition to the normal development that goes on from year to year.”
Newey is also wary of the threat that both Ferrari and Mercedes are likely to pose in 2023, as he believes the two teams are well placed to provide tougher challenges after learning from this year.
“I think we’ve obviously had a good year, particularly in the second half of the season. We do have the best car. But Ferrari won’t be resting, and they will be kind of sorting out the weak areas where they had a couple of reliability problems, and they made a couple of pit wall mistakes. So, they’ll be right back.
“And then, of course, Mercedes. They were quite a long way off the pace and evolving. It’s the point that we won one of the last races (and Mercedes won) one, so we know they will be right there. So, it’s going to be a tough year for sure.”