Newey: Red Bull set for 'tough year' after budget-cap breach
Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey is expecting a "tough year" in the 2023 Formula One season due to punishments issued for the team's budget cap breach.
The constructors' championship winners were handed a $7million fine by the FIA and a reduction of aerodynamic testing time in the wind tunnel, which Newey says will cost the team.
Another dominant year for Red Bull is therefore unexpected, with the punishment opening the door to Ferrari and Mercedes to dethrone two-time drivers' champion Max Verstappen.
Newey has conceded that the team are set for a difficult period in the 2023 season, particularly with regulation changes that will result in "significant aerodynamic change".
"There's no testing, it's very difficult to put an answer to say that [the punishment] will cost us so many tenths of a second per lap," he said.
"But the reduction of internal testing means we can therefore evaluate less, less different components, less different ideas.
"If we're really smart and always puts on the right things on the model, then it doesn't make much difference. But that's not how it works; there are always some parts that you hope will work and don't and vice versa.
"So, it's difficult and it's a restriction for sure that will affect us.
"I think then there's a regulation, a small regulation change over the winter, which is lifting of the floor edge by 50 millimetres, which of course, sounds tiny, but in reality, it's quite a significant aerodynamic change.
"So, like all teams were working to reduce the deficit from that in addition to the normal development that goes on from year to year, I think we've obviously had a good year, particularly in the second half of the season. We do have the best car.
"But Ferrari won't be resting, and they will be kind of sorting out where the weak areas that they had a couple of reliability problems with, and they made a couple of pit wall mistakes. So, they'll be right back.
"And then, of course, Mercedes. They were quite a long way off the pace and evolving. But then they won the last race but one, so we know they will be right there. It's going to be a tough year for sure."
The 2023 Formula One season begins in Bahrain in March, with a record-breaking 24 races scheduled across the year.