According to estimates, Red Bull has already spent almost 75% of the funds allotted to them on constructing their car, dealing a significant blow to Max Verstappen.
This season, the best teams have spent considerably on upgrades as they continue to learn more about how their vehicles perform following a massive regulatory overhaul over the winter.
Red Bull has recently improved Verstappen’s and Sergio Perez’s vehicles. They’ve had mixed results, with the Dutchman winning three of the five Grands Prix.
Verstappen, on the other hand, has regularly complained about dependability concerns. The world champion did not finish the other two races. He also experienced problems during practise prior to his Miami Grand Prix victory.
Ferrari – whose driver Charles Leclerc is Verstappen’s closest rival for this year’s world championship – predicted recently that Red Bull would not be able to continue making upgrades at their current rate.
“I hope, because there is as well a budget cap, that at some stage Red Bull will stop development: otherwise I will not understand how they can do that,” team principal Mattia Binotto said.
And it turns out that Binotto is correct in his assessment that Red Bull cannot keep up with the budget cap. According to Motorsport, the squad has already spent almost 75% of their money.
Top teams reportedly have £8.1 million available for improvements. There is no limit to how much they can produce, although not all of the £113.5m budget cap can be spent on updates.
It comes after Verstappen urged Red Bull to keep improving. After winning in Miami, he told Sky Sports:
“We’re still having a few issues we have to solve. We are quick, but my Friday was terrible… which is not great if you want to have a good weekend.”
So, even after winning a race, Verstappen is still dissatisfied with his situation at Red Bull. After two DNFs in the first three races, the Dutchman may have assumed that those troubles would resurface during the first two practise sessions in Miami.
His gearbox was changed as a precaution after issues in FP1, but his FP2 was significantly worse after a fire broke out in the car, limiting him to only one lap.
The vehicle finally recovered to take third in qualifying before Verstappen converted that into a race win, but the 24-year-old wants to see more of the same this weekend!