Max Verstappen's crash two weeks ago has cost the Red Bull team a reported $1.8 million to repair which in terms of new budget caps is a major set back.
This season has created more challenges for the Formula One teams than any other year before. Firstly they have limitations this season with only having two tokens to spend on upgrades so spending them wisely where they can create the biggest difference is the end goal.
This year those tokens are spent on structural pats or aero dynamics and any other change thereafter has to be only for structural or safety concerns. The teams when they make the changes have to be 100% sure whatever they have done is there to improve the performance as Championship points is money in the bank. The power unit or engine is allowed only one upgrade this season so as you can imagine whatever they change has to be significant able to enhance whatever they have already. I expect after the summer break we will see faster lap times as that is when the engine upgrades normally come into effect.
It is not only the car that receives upgrades during the season as even the pit wall has to have the latest and best technology included.
Every upgrade that is worked on may never see light of day or is earmarked for further development further down the line. Every year 1000's of new components are made and only a handful make the final testing stage. This is not to say those components that don't make it are a waste of time as these can be used in another car that is being developed. When you have 100's of top engineers all trying to improve the package you already have there will be so many new ideas and concepts being formulated over the year. This is what innovation creates and why when upgrades happen they make an immediate impact to the car and performance.
Drivers have to work hand in hand with the design teams as they rely on feedback as it is not just about creating more speed or down force, but the feel of the car has to be drivable. testing in the wind tunnels has decreased for the likes of Mercedes and Red Bull this season as the better you did the previous season the less you have the following season. This is to try and help the other teams catch up with the leading tams making it a level playing field. This is not something I believe is fair as why punish the ones who are successful driving the sport forward and pushing the boundaries.
Not only are the teams battling with the limitations of the wind tunnel but also the cost cap that has been imposed this season. A careful consideration has to be considered for each upgrade as developing next years car is also part of the overall equation. Having enough for two seasons is in theory what this is all about as spending it all on this years car will leave them vulnerable for next season. Haas is a prime example as there is no development happening on this seasons car and is all about the 2022 car. Will this help I have no idea as they have been at the back of the grid for years.
Formula One is a sport that pushes the technology and innovation barriers all the time. I do believe there are enough brains and with the use of the latest technology they will keep producing the goods every season.