Red Bull Racing keeps winning but not without more controversy. After clinching both the driver’s cup and the constructor’s cup they have been accused of cheating by breaching the cost cap by just under two percent. To save face and put this behind them they immediately accepted the FIA penalty. They will be fined 7 million dollars as well as have a ten percent time deduction in the wind tunnel. With added benefits from exceeding the cap expected to have bled over to this season other teams called for the death penalty. Instead, the FIA met them about halfway with severe but not crippling punishments. The rest of the paddock would never truly be satisfied.
Wind Tunnel Time
A 7million dollar fine does not do any damage to such a large team but restricted wind tunnel time is very significant. Each team has a single wind tunnel they use, and they can cost tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars to build. They are only allowed to run turbines at 110 MPH. This time is used to make vehicles more aerodynamic. A full-size vehicle is not allowed with size restricted to 60 percent. Airflow around the vehicle can be calculated as accurately as within a percentage of full-size forces.
Constructors Cup Curse
Rule changes were made in 2021 restricting tunnel time and awarding it on a sliding scale. The last place in the constructor’s cup receives the most wind tunnel time with each subsequent finisher receiving less and so on. There will also be yearly decreases in everyone’s amounts. This season Williams receives the most time while Mercedes gets the least. Red Bull was already scheduled to have the least available wind tunnel time next year at 70 percent. Now with their 10 percent time deduction, they will only be allowed 60 percent of wind tunnel tests.
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