George Russell poses more ‘aggressive’ F1 cost cap question in concerning Red Bull prediction

Michelle Foster
George Russell wearing headphones in the Mercedes garage at Suzuka

Mercedes driver George Russell

Fearing another 18 months of Red Bull dominance with the occasional look-in from a rival team, George Russell has questioned whether F1 needs to be “more aggressive” with the cost cap regulations.

From introducing a budget cap to setting out aerodynamic testing regulations, Formula 1 took steps in 2021 to level the playing field.

‘It may not be until 2026 that they have a real challenge for the title’

But while the budget cap is the same for all the teams, ATR plays a role in the development rate of teams by handicapping those who do best.

F1’s ATR set a baseline for the number of wind tunnel runs and CFD items that may be completed based on where a team finishes in the championship, ranked from highest to lowest.

The team that finishes P1 in the Constructors’ Championship has just 70 per cent of the allotted time while P10 receives 115 per cent. That’s a difference of 224 runs in the wind tunnel to 368, or 1400 CDF items to 2300.

Russell wonders if it is enough given there are few signs of anyone eating into Red Bull’s dominance despite the Milton Keynes squad being handicapped by the system.

“I think the changes that we’re seeing in the regulations with the cost cap, with the wind tunnel time, it is going to bring the field closer together, but does it need to be more aggressive?,” he said as per RacingNews365.

“I don’t know, because at the moment, nobody is catching Red Bull either with these things in place, but we just need to focus on ourselves, and keep doing the best job possible.

“We need to try and bring ourselves further up the order, but also being realistic that Red Bull is a long way ahead of everybody, and it may not be until 2026 that they have a real challenge for the title.”

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Russell, though, concedes Red Bull’s dominance is no different to that of Mercedes, who won seven doubles from 2014 to 2020, or Ferrari’s reign in the early 2000s.

“When you join a team like Mercedes, we’re all here to win, and that is the same for Ferrari and McLaren as well,” he said.

“It was the same for Red Bull during the Mercedes dominance era, and unfortunately, this is Formula 1.

“You always see dominance, if you look at 30 years ago, you had Williams dominating, you had McLaren dominating, then it was Ferrari who dominated and then Red Bull, then Mercedes.”

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