Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has praised the team’s subtle development of its 2023 car that has kept it with a clear advantage over rivals despite last year’s budget cap penalty.
The FIA reduced Red Bull’s aerodynamic testing restriction (ATR) time after it was found to have breached the budget cap last year, giving it less time to develop its car this year. After carrying through the clear advantage over the rest of the field it had last year into this season and going unbeaten so far in 2023, Horner says the way the team has developed the car has been impressive.
“It enables us to be – the way that we’re strategically using the ATR because of course, we have to balance it for this year and for next year, with the development that’s currently going on,” Horner said. “So the team are just doing an incredible, incredible job being extremely efficient.
“You can see we’ve very subtly developed the car since since Bahrain, we’ve seen others bringing significant upgrades to that and the margin has remained pretty much the same from where it was in Bahrain. So that’s hugely encouraging to everybody in Milton Keynes who are doing an outstanding job at the moment.”
With Toto Wolff praising Red Bull after qualifying – stating that “Verstappen is just on a different level. It pisses me off to say that, but that is the reality. It’s a meritocracy, they have just done the best job, the driver is driving excellent, and they’re just far away.”
Horner says observers shouldn’t only praise the driver despite his recent dominance.
“Well, we spent, what, seven years trying to get back into a winning position and losing hurts. I think that we’ve worked very hard to get into this position. I think the whole team as a unit – and it’s not just Max, it’s the whole team is just operating at such a high level.
“We have a phenomenal car, we’ve got two great drivers and Max is is just continuing to evolve as a driver. He’s just becoming more and more polished, and the capacity that he has within the car is truly impressive.”