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F1 2022

Mercedes dismiss Red Bull's 'draconian' aero penalty

Following Christian Horner's description of Red Bull's cost cap penalty as 'draconian', Mercedes have played down the impact this will have.

Verstappen Mexico
Article
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Mercedes have dimissed Red Bull's assertion that they have been hit with a 'draconian' penalty for breaching F1's cost cap in 2021, calling that notion an 'exaggeration'.

The FIA found after its auditing process of the 10 teams' finances for the 2021 season that Red Bull had overspent the $145 million cost cap by about $1.8 million after catering, sick pay, spare parts and tax problems pushed the team over the limit.

For this, Red Bull received a $7 million fine from the FIA, and had its wind tunnel and CFD allowance docked by 10 percent for next season.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was quick to deny that any performance advantage was derived from the overspend, and referred to the resultant penalty as 'draconian'.

However, Mercedes' Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin dismissed Horner's allegation as an 'exaggeration'.

"The scale of that penalty isn't much more than what you would lose if you were just one place higher up in the Championship," Shovlin told media including RacingNews365.com.

"It's not as big as the penalty if your position is two places higher, so I think describing it as draconian is an exaggeration.

"Reducing the number of runs does limit your freedom when you're developing a concept, but we're in reasonably well-explored regulations now."

Mercedes – Half a second is unrealistic

Shovlin added that if a 10 percent reduction in wind tunnel and CFD allowance was worth half a second, as Horner had claimed, then the team finishing bottom of the Constructors' Championship would have a three-second advantage to the team at the top.

The team finishing 10th in the 2022 Constructors' standings will get 115 percent of the seventh-placed team's wind tunnel time next year.

"That simply isn't the case," said Shovlin of the notion that Red Bull's penalty would result in a deficit of five-tenths per lap.

"But it depends on how well you make decisions during the year. I'd have thought a tenth, or maybe two-tenths at the upper end, is realistically what that would cost you."

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