Christian Horner has revealed the first car designed in their planned new wind tunnel will be 2027’s as Red Bull look to start construction.
Red Bull currently use an old RAF site in Bedford, 20 miles away from their HQ, but with it being originally built shortly after World War II, it is significantly outdated and the team have been keen to build their own.
In October, they withdrew their planning permission application but plan to resubmit a new one ahead of construction in 2024.
Red Bull set out start date for wind tunnel construction
Red Bull want to make their Milton Keynes base a one-stop shop and plan on bringing the wind tunnel on site to join the factory and the newly-created power unit division, Red Bull Powertrains.
But doing so requires not only money but planning and team principal and CEO Horner said it will not be a quick thing.
“A quirk of the regulations with wind tunnels being a thing of the future by all accounts, we’ve had to go with the times and invest in a new wind tunnel,” Horner said. “Construction will start during the course of 2024.
“You don’t want to introduce it in-season, you have to nominate a tunnel for the year, so it will be probably to do the ’27 car in.”
Horner’s team will again have the smallest wind tunnel allocation in 2024 but unlike this year, they are free from further penalties as a result of coming under the cost cap.
But with minimal time compared to their rivals, Horner said they have to be smart with how they use their allocation.
“Well our allowance increased a bit in October, as we’d served the penalty, so it allowed 7% more time. But again, that’s what, 8% less than any other competitor. That’s just the way these regulations are,” he said.
“And particularly with the wind tunnel that we have, which is a Cold War relic, and not particularly efficient, particularly in cold weather – which you tend to get a bit of in the UK – we have to be very, very selective. That’s where the team have done brilliantly well of really being selective of where we channel our development.”