Christian Horner says F1 can cut costs by banning wind tunnels
Red Bull team boss thinks "controversial" idea will reduce costs
By Sky Sports Digital
Last Updated: 16/03/15 2:14pm
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has suggested banning wind tunnels as a way to cut costs in F1.
Horner has made the suggestion – one he admits is “controversial” – having last season voiced his belief that the sport could help reduce its spending by building engines with more standard parts.
Using standard parts on F1 cars has consistently been put forward as a means to rein in costs, although the most obvious suggestion to solve the problem – a budget cap – has long been rejected as unworkable by big teams including Red Bull.
Besides cutting costs, a budget cap would in theory allow engineers more freedom in designing cars. Wind tunnel use is already restricted, but Horner believes that teams should switch them off altogether.
“I think if we are going to seriously consider look at reducing costs you have to look at something a bit more drastic than changing the wheel nuts or standard brakes of stuff like that,” Horner told Sky Sports News HQ at the Australian GP.
“I think if you look at where the main cost drivers are they are in the development of the car and the wind tunnel is a massive contributor to that.”
Alongside wind tunnels, teams have increasingly used computational fluid dynamics as a design tool in recent years and Horner thinks savings could also be made there.
“Arguably it is controversial, but if we were to ban wind tunnels and everyone moved to a standard cluster of CFDs, so everyone has the same tools, and it is down to engineering ingenuity and creativity to create the differences.”
Meanwhile, with Red Bull generally seen to be battling with Williams and Ferrari to be ‘best of the rest’ behind Mercedes as the season starts, Horner said he was looking forward to seeing what the weekend holds in store.
“I think winter testing can be very deceptive because you never know what the opposition are doing. We have run through a programme and have had a pretty solid pre-season compared to last year, but we know that Mercedes are still the benchmark team, we know that Williams are looking good and Ferrari have certainly moved forward,” he added.
“So it is going to be interesting over the next couple of days, but it will only be when we get to qualifying that we get the first glimpse of what the running order is.”