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Ricciardo assesses impact of Red Bull cost cap penalty

Ahead of his return to Red Bull as a reserve driver for 2023, Daniel Ricciardo has given his thoughts on how the team might be affected by the punishment they received for breaching the 2021 cost cap.

Daniel Ricciardo admits that Red Bull's 10 per cent loss of their aerodynamic development allowance as a result of breaching the 2021 cost cap is a "serious number", but the punishment is one he expects the team to be able to manage. The penalty was confirmed in October, alongside the Milton Keynes-based squad having to pay a $7 million fine due to the breach. Various responses emerged across the paddock, with team boss Christian Horner arguing that the loss of aerodynamic development could cost them "up to half a second per lap" , while Ferrari's Laurent Mekies expressed concerns over whether the punishment would have enough of an impact . Ahead of his return to the squad as a reserve driver for 2023, Ricciardo has given his take on the issue.

Ricciardo reflects on Red Bull penalty

"You can't deny that it doesn't hurt, because, when you're talking [about] F1, every bit counts," Ricciardo told the Beyond The Grid podcast. "It's like everyone's chasing that last... not even an inch, it's that last, whatever, micro-inch, so 10 per cent is a serious number. "But they're obviously in a good position where they've got a very good car, so you'd think they've obviously learned enough from this car to then still have a competitive car next year. "Even if they're winning next year, they would say, 'Well, we could be 10 per cent better', or whatever." Ricciardo believes that the penalty may provide extra motivation to the team. "It's not nothing. It's definitely not nothing," he added. "But I know there's a lot of people in the team that were there back in my day and, knowing what they're like, that'll just motivate them even more."

Ricciardo praises 'heavy competition' at front

When host Tom Clarkson called Red Bull "ferocious competitors" and suggested that Horner had gone "on the attack" as a form of response to the cost cap situation, Ricciardo acknowledged that the level of competitiveness between the leading teams is a key appeal in the sport. "Even as a fan of the sport, watching Mercedes and Red Bull go at it [in 2021], and Max [Verstappen] and Lewis [Hamilton], it's awesome," the Australian said. "It just highlights how much it means to everyone that puts the effort in, and that's what you want. You want this intense, heavy competition – it's the heavyweights, and that's what everyone wants to see. "It's like with boxing, everyone wants to watch the heavyweights go at it."

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