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Red Bull boss Christian Horner has warned that freight issues could soon “wreak havoc” in F1 amid a campaign that will run a record number of Grand Prix races. Despite a hectic schedule, which will incorporate 23 different venues once a replacement is found for the Russian Grand Prix, the budget cap for each team has been reduced.
Horner has been vociferous about rising travel costs, and believed the budget cap should be increased to reflect that notion. Freight issues have already been a factor this year with Haas missing the first day of pre-season testing in Bahrain.
The unusual timing of the Australian Grand Prix increased complications for teams, with the race down under being moved back from its initial season-opener slot and not part of a double-header. Later in the year however, all drivers will have to endure double and triple-headers in an intense finale.
Horner, 48, has described the schedule as a “big challenge” ahead of the next race this weekend in Emilia Romagna: “We have a very complicated calendar and there are very tight timescales, and with some of the triple-headers, and double-headers coming up late in the year, obviously losing freight for a period of time could wreak havoc,” he said, via GP Fans.
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“So that’s one issue that we’re working, obviously, very closely with the logistic guys and Formula 1 with, but then, of course, there’s the cost element and I think freight is close to doubling this year.” Horner also argued that bosses should be taking the current economic climate into account, and the inflation putting restraints on the sport.
“We see that in all the cost of living, we see inflation throughout the world and I think that’s – again when you consider that freight is something that is currently within the cap, we need to find a sensible allowance that takes into account these inflationary costs because it has a one-on-one effect on parts and people at the end of the day, that your only compensatory place to offset that.”
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Horner added teams were working together on the issues, but needed it sorted “sooner rather than later.” It isn’t the only current worry for him following the reliability issues which have hindered Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez this season.
Both drivers retired in Bahrain and although the Dutchman did bounce back with a win in Saudi Arabia, he was also forced out in Melbourne. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is the early pace setter on 71 points, 41 and 56 clear of Perez and Verstappen respectively.
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