Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (#1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 and Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (#11) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 lead the field into turn one at the start during the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 20, 2022, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Damon Hill: It will get more difficult to win in F1 in years to come

Former F1 world champion Damon Hill claims the cost cap could change the pecking order in the sport. The Briton praised the new regulations, claiming the cost cap is good for the sport's future.

Damon Hill: “There is almost nothing you can do to stop Max Verstappen in that Red Bull”

The FIA introduced new aerodynamic regulations in 2022, as well as financial regulations. F1 teams were given a budget limit of $145 million to use for this year's campaign. Hill claims that while the new regulations will require some 'adjusting' in coming times, they are likely to help smaller teams battle the big names. Red Bull were recently found to be in 'minor breach' of the 2021 cost cap and have been awarded a hefty fine, along with a reduction in wind tunnel testing time for the 2023 season.

The 1996 world champion told the F1 Nation podcast:

"This season, the new cost cap regulations, it's hard to remember back to the beginning, when this was a completely new set of regulations. This was all completely new. We didn't know which way it was going to go, and I think it's been a huge success. And we're going to see, long-term, the effects of the cost cap having a role to play and more pressure coming from below, from the teams down the grid who can do more testing [and] more development if they've got the money."

He concluded:

"It will get more difficult to win in this formula in years to come."

F1 teams wanted a harsher penalty for Red Bull, claims the sport's president

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem claimed some teams wanted Red Bull to receive a much harsher penalty for breaching the 2021 F1 cost cap. The Milton Keynes-based squad was found to be in breach of last year's cost cap, leading to widespread criticism of both its members and drivers.

The Austrian team was found to be in 'minor breach' of the $145 million budget restriction and as a result, was handed a $7 million fine along with a reduction in wind tunnel testing time for the 2023 season. Despite penalties being handed out to Max Verstappen and the squad, Ben Sulayem claims some teams wanted much harsher penalties for Red Bull. He told the media:

"I believe that there was a balance between [the financials] and the sporting penalties [handed to the team]. But we learned a lot [from the process] and a big review is going into it, because who knows in the first year [of the cost cap] what is going to be the outcome? If you look at the other big teams, they will say we have been light on them. [In terms of] the penalty, some of them want [Red Bull] to be hanged, they wanted to see blood, and the teams themselves see this as [a] huge [thing] themselves."

It is unclear whether or not the penalties given to the 2022 constructors' champions will have a significant impact on their performance in 2023 until pre-season testing early next year. The Milton Keynes-based squad will be spending all their efforts on their title defense next year.

Edited by
Anurag C
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