Red Bull deny Ferrari claims about spending on upgrades to 2022 car
Red Bull have denied Ferrari’s suggestion that they have spent heavily early in the 2022 season to make improvements to their car.
Max Verstappen has secured victory at the last two races at Imola and in Miami after Red Bull made tweaks to their car after problems with reliability.
That has helped Christian Horner’s team close the gap to Ferrari at the top of the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship standings, with just six points separating the two manufacturers in the teams’ prize.
Mattia Binotto, team principal at Ferrari, hinted after the Miami Grand Prix that he was unsure if Red Bull would be able to continue to develop with the need to control spending and stay within the budget cap.
“They have developed the car since the start of the season, which we didn’t really,” Binotto said. “I hope, because there is as well a budget cap, that at some stage Red Bull will stop development: otherwise I will not understand how they can do that.”
However Red Bull have now refuted the accusation that they have over-spent early in the season.
Helmut Marko, long-time advisor to the team and head of their driver development program, insists that Red Bull’s situation is comparable to their rivals as they bid to continue shedding weight and improving performance.
“I don’t think so,” Marko stated, according to Motorsport.com, when asked if Red Bull had spent more than their rivals. “We plan our updates in such a way that we always lose weight with each update, because unfortunately we still haven’t reached the minimum weight. And we won’t quite reach it with the next update either.
“I don’t think we are in a significantly different position to Ferrari in this regard.Especially since I wonder what effect it has on them that Carlos Sainz has already crashed the car several times. That can’t be cheap.”
The budget cap this year stands at $140 million (£115 million), a drop of $5 million (£4.1 million) from last season.
According to Marko, higher freight costs are a concern as teams try to stay under the cap, but it is a concern shared throught the grid.
“It’s true that the increased logistics costs are a problem,” Marko said. “But that doesn’t just affect us, it also affects Ferrari and all the other teams.”
Team principal Horner, meanwhile, has noted the need to get changes to the car right to avoid unneccessary spending.
“You’ve got to be very careful where you introduce your upgrades because of the budget cap restrictions this year.
“We’ve just got to make sure that we introduce something that is value for money.”
The season continues in Barcelona next weekend, with race day at the Spanish Grand Prix Sunday 22 May.