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George Russell

Russell expresses cost cap doubt in Red Bull pursuit

George Russell feels the cost cap and wind-tunnel testing in F1 could go even further as it is not helping the field to catch Red Bull.

Russell Japan
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George Russell has expressed doubts about the Formula 1 cost cap and its ability to help bring the field closer together given Red Bull's dominance.

Introduced for the 2021 season, the cost cap limits the amount every team can spend to the same amount, with the idea being that reeling in the bigger teams like Red Bull, Mercedes or Ferrari would, in time, allow the smaller teams to level the playing field. 

In addition, for the 2022 season, a new sliding scale of aerodynamic wind-tunnel testing and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) time was introduced, with the reigning world champions receiving the least amount of time with the team who finished last the previous season handed a bigger helping.

This is adjusted mid-way through a season, but in the 50 races since the ground effects rules were introduced, Red Bull has won 42 times, 38 of those for Max Verstappen.

In contrast, F1's previous dominant force Mercedes has just a single win, that of Russell in the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix, with the team unable to make progress forward to closing the gap to Red Bull. 

Russell believes the cost cap and wind-tunnel testing restrictions could need to be even stricter.

"I think the changes that we're seeing in the regulations with the cost cap, with the wind-tunnel time, it is going to bring the field closer together, but does it need to be more aggressive?," he  told media including RacingNews365.

"I don't know, because at the moment, nobody is catching Red Bull either with these things in place, but we just need to focus on ourselves, and keep doing the best job possible.

"We need to try and bring ourselves further up the order, but also being realistic that Red Bull is a long way ahead of everybody, and it may not be until 2026 that they have a real challenge for the title."

The cycle of dominance

Since 2010, every F1 world championship has been won by either Red Bull or Mercedes with just four drivers claiming the title in that period - Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Verstappen. 

Cycles of dominance in F1 are nothing new, with Russell pointing out the runs that had happened over the past three decades.

"When you join a team like Mercedes, we're all here to win, and that is the same for Ferrari and McLaren as well," he said.

"It was the same for Red Bull during the Mercedes dominance era, and unfortunately, this is Formula 1. 

"You always see dominance, if you look at 30 years ago, you had Williams dominating, you had McLaren dominating, then it was Ferrari who dominated and then Red Bull, then Mercedes."

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