Eddie Jordan reveals why Red Bull ‘got lucky’ with cost cap penalty

Sam Cooper
Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez shake hands after another 1-2 result for Red Bull. Miami May 2023

Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez shake hands after another 1-2 result. Miami May 2023

Eddie Jordan believes the timing of Red Bull’s penalty was “lucky”, and Adrian Newey had also revealed to him he thought a harsher development restriction was on its way.

Red Bull became the unwanted poster boy for what could happen if a team breaches the cost cap as their ‘minor’ overspend was hit with a $7 million fine plus given a 10% reduction in aerodynamic testing for 12 months.

With Red Bull having won the Constructors’ Championship in 2022, it was a further reduction of their windtunnel allocation but it has yet to have any visible impact with the RB19 proving a cut above the rest of the field.

This of course was helped by the strong starting point they had with the RB18 as Red Bull and chief technology officer Newey figured out the best configuration following the 2022 regulation changes.

Jordan, a friend of Newey’s, says that is exactly why Red Bull got “lucky” with the timing of their penalty.

“What he’s doing at Red Bull is simply phenomenal,” Jordan said of Newey on the Formula For Success podcast.

“I’m out cycling with him and we’re preparing to do the Argus [cycling tour around Cape Town] and this thing comes up about the penalty.

“I said: ‘Come on Adrian, level with me.’ He was reluctant to accept it, but he had to because they’d been tipped off to prepare themselves for a 20 per cent reduction.

“He didn’t care about the penalty with the money because an engineer will bankrupt a team if they get half a chance.

“He was lucky and Red Bull were lucky because it was an evolution, it wasn’t a brand-new design.”

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Such was Red Bull’s dominance in 2022 that they were able to switch focus to 2023 earlier than they had done the previous year.

Newey confirmed as much, suggesting to PlanetF1.com in December that he believes their competitors switch over after the Singapore Grand Prix.

“Once you got to Singapore, then we would have messed up fairly spectacularly to have lost it,” he told PlanetF1.com at the Autosport Awards in London. “I’m sure Ferrari probably had the same feeling. Mercedes were still pushing to understand the car.

“Because the regulations are relatively stable over the winter then what you continue to learn through the year is still applicable for the following season.”