“Obviously committed a significant part of their budget cap”: Red Bull on Mercedes upgrades at the 2023 F1 Monaco GP


Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has claimed that rival Mercedes would have spent a significant part of their budget cap to introduce their new sidepods.

The Silver Arrows brought in a whole host of upgrades to their car and changed the philosophy of their design from no-sidepod to Red Bull-themed undercut pods. Mercedes were supposed to introduce these new upgrades last week in Imola but due to the cancelation of the race, they pushed it to Monaco.

During the Team Principal’s press conference, the Red Bull boss said:

“Well, to be honest, I haven’t had an in-depth look at the upgrades. Obviously, visually, they look a bit different. But sometimes the visual things actually have the least performance impact. It’s what’s usually underneath the skin or the finer detail that has the biggest impact.”

“So obviously they’ve bought a significant amount of parts, so they’ve obviously committed a significant part of their budget cap to this upgrade, and it’s up to a team how and when it applies it.”

It would be interesting to see how much of a dent did the new upgrades put in Mercedes’ $135 million budget cap.

“We wouldn’t have made that jump had it not been for Honda’s withdrawal” – Red Bull team boss

Christian Horner has admitted that the Austrian team would not have focused on having their powertrains had Honda not left the sport and as their engine supplier in 2021.

Speaking to, he said:

“Well, it’s certainly an expensive decision! For the prospects of Red Bull, we’ve outgrown being a customer. For us to have the power unit on-site, integrated fully with the chassis and the synergies that create with engine and chassis engineers next to each other, for the long-term, the advantages are significant. We wouldn’t have made that jump had it not been for Honda’s withdrawal.”

“In many respects, we should be grateful for them giving us that push to create our own engine facility. The jobs that it’s created and provided and of course, the [2026 commercial-led] partnership we have with Ford is particularly exciting for the future and the commitment from Red Bull and the shareholders to the project. Would we have made the same decision knowing what Honda’s decision is today? Absolutely not. But we made it and we’re committed to it and as the way we’ve gone has evolved, the more benefit that we see to the group long term.”

Honda recently announced that it will supply engines to Aston Martin from the 2026 season onward.

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Edited by Shubham Banerjee

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