Last year, the plot of the Formula One drama took a twisting turn. Instead of Mercedes, Red Bull got the feature role representing the 2022 season with 17 wins, while Mercedes barely saved its GP winning streak with Geroge Russell’s maiden win. In front of Red Bull’s RB18, Mercedes’s W13 was a douchebag.
Lewis Hamilton came back last year to clinch the eighth title that he lost in 2021 in Abu Dhabi, but he once again got defeated by Max Verstappen, this time in a more hurtful way. Throughout the entire 2022 season, Mercedes struggled to match the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari, but it looks like it was the first and last defeat of Mercedes.
The First Advantage With Mercedes Is Red Bull’s Cost Cap Breach Penalty
For the 2023 Formula One World Championship, Mercedes has several factors supporting them. This upcoming season, Red Bull is facing the severe consequences of breaching the 2021 budget by a minor amount. And Toto Wolff believes that the cost cap breach penalty, which has limited Red Bull’s wind tunnel time, gives enormous advantages to Mercedes.
FIA found Red Bull guilty of breaching the 2021 F1 budget of $145 million by $0.5 million. As of penalty, Red Bull received a $ 7 million fine and a 10% deduction in their aerodynamic development allowance for 12 months. Apart from the penalty limiting Red Bull’s, the team already had received the least aerodynamics development allowance due to their spectacular win in the constructor’s championship.
As a result, Mercedes, who finished third in the 2022 F1 constructor’s standings, got 10+10% more allowance than Red Bull for the 2023 world F1 championship. The Milton Keynes-based motorsport team might have secured just one GP win last year, but no one should take them for granted because the team has already achieved what no other ever had: 8 continuous constrictor’s trophies.
The Second advantage Is The Least Wind Tunnel Allowance To Red Bull Due To Their Constructor’s Championship Victory
Let’s see how Toto Wolff himself explains the advantages Mercedes has in 2023. Speaking with RacingNews365.com, the Austrian boss mentioned, “I believe Red Bull did a very good job last year. Having a car on the grid that is half a second or quicker than everybody else.”
In addition, Wolff explained, “The lack of wind tunnel time is surely not great for Red Bull. And this is an advantage for Mercedes this year.” However, looking at the huge gap between Red Bull’s and Mercedes’s scores last season, Wolff does not forget to be realistic. He knows that Red bull can do everything in terms of minimizing the impact of the cost cap breach punishment.
According to the Mercedes AMG CEO, if a team has an efficient machine, it can certainly compensate for that or a large of parts of it. “So, in the long term, this is good for the Silver Arrows. However, we have been in that situation, not with the penalty but before we won,” feels the chief. When Mercedes used to win the constructor, they always received the least allowance in the wind tunnel time than the other teams, but they did not find it a problem.
Wolff knows that the least allowance will bite Red Bull a little bit. But “if the team remains efficient as an organization, the problem is not going to be big,” said the Mercedes boss.