Red Bull intrigued by new F1 aero handicap system after initial opposition

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner is intrigued to see how Formula 1's new handicap system for aerodynamic development will impact the competitive order.

Starting next year, teams who finished lower in the Constructors' Championship this season will be given more time in the windtunnel than those at the top based on a sliding scale.

As one of F1's top three teams, Red Bull will be one those impacted more by the restrictions. But while they initially opposed its introduction, team boss Christian Horner is at least happier the final regulations are fairer.

“We have a budget cap and now we also have this sliding scale on the ATR [aerodynamic testing restrictions],” he told The Race.

“Thankfully, while we weren’t able to get rid of it in its entirety, it has been adjusted so that it’s a linear line between first and 10th, rather than isolating the first three, and more time being available from fourth onwards."

Under the new regulation, the Constructors' champion from 2020 will only receive 90 per cent of the baseline figure, which will be used by the fourth-placed team next year. The number will then increase in 2.5 per cent intervals upto 112.5 per cent for the bottom-placed outfit.

The relatively small gaps are due to the new cars that will be introduced in 2022, though the additional time could still hand teams like McLaren, Renault and Racing Point an advantage.

From 2022 though, the percentage gap will be doubled, meaning the champions will get just 70 per cent of the aerodynamic testing time vs. the seventh-placed team, while the 10th-placed outfit or a new team will have 115 per cent.

“It’s slightly perverse in that respect, but it does give more development time the further back down the order you are, which as we know in F1 has a significant impact," Horner continued.

“The budget levels, where they’re at now, there’s probably six teams that were operating beyond the [planned cap of $145m].

“That means that they should be able to maximise their activity within the cap and development.

“It will be interesting to see how it works.”

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