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Red Bull Racing

Why the end of Red Bull's penalty is bad news for the competition

Red Bull's budget cap penalty has now expired which means it can return to its full allocation of aerodynamic testing, which is bad news for its rivals given the dominance on show so far this term.

To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

There was quite a stir surrounding Red Bull last season after the Milton Keynes-based outfit was found to have breached the budget cap in 2021.

With that breach influencing a year in which Max Verstappen narrowly beat Lewis Hamilton to the title in a controversial title battle, rivals demanded an explanation.

But there was displeasure with the penalty that was subsequently handed out to Red Bull: a $7 million fine and a restriction on car development.

Starting on October 26 last year, a 365-day period where the team's ATR was reduced by 10 per cent was imposed on top of the 30 per cent reduction already given by the sliding scale testing regulations aimed at keeping F1 a level playing field.

The penalty has seemingly left Red Bull unaffected with Verstappen utterly dominant this term, securing 15 of the 18 races held en route to a third consecutive title. The team has also already wrapped up the Constructors' championship.

Red Bull dominates Formula 1 with no end in sight

This season's dominance has been extraordinary. Red Bull took both world titles early and, aside from Verstappen's stunning form, saw Perez pick up two of the remaining three victories.

Now that the penalty is lifted, the team can now spend more time on development at the factory compared to the rest of the year. With the shift to next season's machinery made early on given the performance of the RB19, it would seem the team is already a step ahead of the competition.

Second in the championship Mercedes, for example, is still upgrading the W14 to try and find learnings ahead of next season and whilst the Silver Arrows collect data, Red Bull is already settled with its work at the factory.

With Adrian Newey as Chief Technical Officer, Red Bull has perhaps F1's best technical mastermind. While Mercedes is making strides - as is McLaren - can they stick with the might of his group of engineers? Add in the released ATR time and the question marks for the competition grow ever larger.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Is there only bad news for the competition?

There are positives to be taken for Red Bull's rivals, however. By virtue of winning the title again, the team only receives 70 per cent of its wind tunnel time.

With Mercedes, McLaren, Ferrari and Aston Martin all backed by great facilities, the sliding scale rules should help the gulf increase, even if it is little by little

With a technical team standing tall, a strong basis from the RB19 and such a vast amount of time focused on preparing the new car, there is no reason for Red Bull not to hold its advantage into next year.

It would be great for F1 if, as in 2021, there was a big battle for the championship for now, it seems Red Bull has its fate in its own hands and Verstappen would not lose a second of sleep should he be dominating again.

F1 2023 Mexican Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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