McLaren could be a winner of the budget cap measures set to take effect next year. That is the view of Red Bull official Dr Helmut Marko, who told AMuS that McLaren is set to benefit from faster rivals Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull needing to significantly slash staff numbers. “McLaren’s change from Renault to Mercedes engines can also bypass some homologation rules and intervene in areas that are closed to others. There are loopholes,” Marko said.
“McLaren is getting closer, they are well positioned in terms of staff and technology, and they will have a competitive engine from next year. But it won’t be a matter of one year to the next.” In contrast, Marko says Red Bull Racing will have to “get smaller” to come in under the recently-reduced 2021 budget cap amount of $145 million. Also coming in for 2021 is a rule allowing teams that are placed lower in the world championship standings to do more wind tunnel testing than their faster rivals.
“It would have been better to link the wind tunnel bonus to the budget rather than the championship position,” a source at Ferrari said. “Those with less money should be allowed to test more in the wind tunnel. The way it is now, some teams will wonder whether they are better off finishing ninth instead of eighth to get more wind tunnel time for the 2022 car,” the insider added.
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