Budget cap: why Red Bull didn’t spend so much – F1 Team – Formula 1

The Miami GP saw the second consecutive victory of Max Verstappen and of Red Bull, the third this season also counting the success gained in Jeddah. The reigning world champion and the Austrian team are still in second place in their respective drivers and constructors standings, but in the trip to Florida they overtook Charles Leclerc and Ferrari in the number of championship wins. A first sign that the wind is changing, after the Maranello team dominated the first three races of the year, collecting two wins, one double and five podiums overall. After the first American race of the season, in which the RB18 seemed overall more competitive and faster than the F1-75 despite the all-red front row in qualifying, there was a lot of talk about updates and budget chap.

The dominant thought is that the ‘bulls’, worried by their poor reliability and by the almost perfect Ferrari since the beginning of 2022, have decided to invest heavily in developments for their car. A strategy that could, however, penalize them in the long term, precisely because of the risk of reaching the limit imposed by the ceiling on expenses before the Cavallino. In reality from the Netherlands, which thanks to Verstappen’s presence are always very attentive to what happens at Red Bull, a very different reality. As evidenced by Erik van Haren, journalist of the De Telegraafthe Milton Keynes team would in fact have contained costs even more so far than the Scuderia.

There are several interesting topics, starting with the actual amount of the budget cap: the millions of dollars that can be spent are in fact 142, not 140. The 140 million are calculated over 21 tenders; for the two additional races that bring the calendar to 23 GPs, an extra million per race is ‘granted’. If ‘only’ 22 GPs were contested, the limit would drop to 141. Red Bull has so far brought minor updates, strategically targeted and – above all – already planned at the beginning of the year. He is therefore not rushing the times, quite the contrary. The biggest upgrades should come after the summer. Christian Horner’s team has rather concentrated on lightening their car. Plus the team is trying to save ‘cutting’ on other areas: for example, fewer spare components are brought to each GP. If before each piece of a car could have three or four parts, now it has come down to one.

The staff traveling the world with the team has also been reduced. The number of employees who remain working in the factory in England also during the race weekend has increased. This avoids burdening the team’s budget excessively. Finally, in comparison with Ferrari, it should be reported as i various incidents involving Carlos Sainz in this first part of the season, both in practice and in the race, they were decidedly more expensive than the reliability problems suffered by Verstappen and Perez. The latter in fact concerned the fuel system and fuel and are relatively cheap to fix. The situation at Red Bull does not therefore appear to be critical from the point of view of the management of the available economic resources.



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