Christian Horner thinks it will be fascinating to see what strategy Red Bull’s main rivals take in developing their 2021 cars ahead of the big regulation changes next year.
Red Bull have just launched the RB16B, their challenger for the forthcoming season, which looks little different from the car that finished second in the 2020 Constructors’ World Championship.
But as well as having to prepare for 2022 and creating a brand-new Formula 1 car, teams must also factor in how they will deploy their resources during the ongoing campaign – and under the restrictions of the budget cap which has meant the redistribution of some staff.
It is a quandary that has increased the scale of the challenge for the bigger teams, according to Red Bull team principal Horner.
— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) February 23, 2021
“It’s already difficult enough to make the jump for 2022,” said Horner, quoted by Auto Motor und Sport. “And it’s made even worse by the budget cap that affects Mercedes and Ferrari as well as us. You have to exercise extreme caution where you invest your money.
“There is no more the luxury of investing your money in two programs, working in parallel for 2021 and 2022.
“It will be exciting to see what strategies the teams are driving. The effect on next year’s car is much greater than usual because we are really starting from zero.
“We are racers from top to bottom in the team. The answer can only be that you have to be as efficient as possible in everything you do this year while seeing 2022 as a challenge where you can’t give anything away.
“The decision-making process on how to distribute your resources is a completely new dimension.”
Although it will not apply this year, Red Bull will also have to factor into their future planning the operation of their new engine shop at their Milton Keynes base having agreed a deal to take over Honda’s intellectual property for their power unit from 2022.
Honda announced last autumn that they were pulling out of F1 at the end of 2021 and the voting through of an engine freeze was the starting gun for Red Bull to set up their own engine programme, which is likely to continue for at least three years.