Red Bull chief engineer bullish on car legality: Nothing to hide

Red Bull return from the F1 summer break aiming to complete a run of five championships in three seasons

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Red Bull‘s chief engineer Paul Monaghan says the team welcomed unannounced FIA factory visits to ensure they’re complying with F1 regulations, after the team broke the budget cap in 2021 – the first year it was introduced.

After winning the 2021 world title after the hugely controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Red Bull have dominated the following two seasons of F1 after starting development for the new regulations during their breach of the budget cap.

The FIA conducts spot checks on teams to ensure they’re sticking to all parts of F1 regulations, but Monaghan said Red Bull are pleased for the chance to show their compliance.

“It’s down to us to demonstrate our legality,” Monaghan told select members of the press, including Total-Motorsport.com. “By the nature of the current regulations even going back to about 2010 when the aerodynamic testing restriction first came in, it requires the FIA to perform some sort of audit in order to establish that we are legal.”

Red Bull were slapped with a $7 million fine after their 2021 breach was uncovered at the end of the 2022 season, a figure which didn’t come out of their cap for the following year.

They also received a reduction in aerodynamic testing, meaning they’ve been forced to switch development to 2024 earlier than planned.

However, they’re well on course for both world titles in 2023 while their rivals continue to fight the extremely tight battle for second in the constructors’ championship.

Monaghan: if you’ve nothing to hide you’ve nothing to fear

Red Bull Chief Engineer Paul Monaghan faces the media at the 2023 Dutch GP | Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Monaghan reiterated that while the visits from the FIA were an annoyance, Red Bull are perfectly happy to comply with the visits.

Appearing alongside representatives from Mercedes and Aston Martin, he said the team have nothing to hide.

“It’s gone on for quite some time, it’s more broad in its scope of investigation now,” Monaghan added.

“We have this incremental list of parts we have to prove we’re observing, we’re questioned on cost cap, we’re questioned on all sorts of things and so the only way to prove ourselves legal is for the visit.

“It can be random, it can be planned, I don’t suppose anyone has anything to hide, so we shouldn’t fear it. It’s a bit inconvenient, but that’s occasionally life, isn’t it?”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, and previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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