Red Bull chief rues ‘idiotic’ decision which is set to cost £44m

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Helmut Marko has criticised Red Bull’s decision to spend £44million on a new wind tunnel, labelling the idea ‘idiotic’. Red Bull have been using their current tunnel since buying out Jaguar in 2004, which is located in Bedford, some 20 miles away from their Milton Keynes HQ.

The tunnel comes with plenty of history, with the facility being used during World War II for aircraft development. That history comes at a cost for Red Bull though, with the tunnel a listed building, meaning it is unable to be demolished and re-done.

This has therefore led to the Milton Keynes-based setup building their own new facility which has of course come at a cost. Speaking to Auto Motor und Sport, Marko said: “The problem with our wind tunnel is that it is a post-war product that was set up by the Ministry of Defence, and cannot be demolished as it is a listed building.

“It is insanely long and not well insulated, and it takes a while to heat up. When it’s cold outside, it takes even longer. That’s why we’re building a new wind tunnel on our site, which is idiotic, because the development trend is moving towards CFD simulations.

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“That’s another 50 million [Euros]. The building is already there, and the [new] wind tunnel will go there, but it will probably take another two to three years before everything is ready.”

This is not the only change Red Bull Racing is going through, with the setup set to go through a full revamp following the death of founder Dietrich Mateschitz, according to Marko. Mateschitz passed away after a long illness last month, and founded the Red Bull company in 1987.

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Speaking about what will change following his colleague’s death, Marko commented: “Certainly a lot will change. It was de facto autocracy, but Red Bull Racing is the group’s strongest and most efficient marketing tool. We have worked very independently in the past. 

“We were the only ones who didn’t have to follow certain company rules. This autonomy existed with the consent of Mateschitz, but it has already leaked out that the new management wants to continue Formula 1 activities. Like now, with a relatively strong independence.”

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