Horner “begrudgingly” accepts penalty, laments performance impact

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Christian Horner says Red Bull’s cost cap breach penalty will “have an impact on development of our 2023 car”, and “our ability to perform on track”.

After the FIA announced that Red Bull has received a $7m fine for their 2021 cost cap breach, in addition to the team’s wind tunnel and CFD testing time being reduced by 10%, team boss Christian Horner has organized a press conference to give the team’s side of the story.

In the conference Horner was asked why Red Bull agreed to the ‘Accepted Breach Agreement’, when they maintained for weeks that they were innocent.

“Why have we accepted it?” Horner said.

“Had we dragged it out through the administration process, that could have taken months and beyond that the ICA could have taken further months.

“We could have been looking at a 12-month period to have this closed, and the amount of speculation and sniping that has been going on, we felt it was in everyone’s interests to close the book.

“We accept the penalties – begrudgingly, but we accept them.”

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Horner then said the penalties are going to severely hurt the team.

“We have been provided a significant financial and sporting penalty. $7m is an enormous amount of money and the more draconian part is the sporting penalty, which is a 10% reduction in our ability to use our wind tunnel and aerodynamic tools.

“That is an enormous amount. That represents between 0.25secs and 0.5secs of lap time. It comes in from now and will be in place for a 12-month period and will have an impact on development of our 2023 car.

“By winning the constructors’ championship, we become victims of our own success by having a 5% incremental handicap compared to second and third places.

“So we will have 15% less than second and 20% less than third. That will have impact on our ability to perform on track,” Horner concluded.

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