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New location but no big delay for Red Bull F1 wind tunnel

Red Bull has changed plans for its new Formula 1 wind tunnel, after earmarking a slightly different location near its Milton Keynes factory.

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The world champion squad had originally planned to build a brand new facility at its base, which it felt was needed to keep the team at the cutting edge of F1 car development over the long term.

A site near its technology campus had been sorted and the team had formally applied for planning permission for construction to go ahead.

However, as part of major ongoing developments at Milton Keynes in the wake of the construction of a new Red Bull Powertrains facility and more factory expansion, the team has elected to now slightly shift the location of the planned wind tunnel.

The change, which will put the facility in a more suitable location, means that the original planning permission is no longer valid and has been withdrawn.

It is understood that fresh paperwork will now be prepared to be submitted for approval.

While this new process will take some time, the team believes that the change of location will not actually have much of an impact on when the facility should be up-and-running, with it likely to be what the team uses for development of its 2026 car.

Ever since Red Bull has been involved in F1, following its takeover of the Jaguar squad at the end of 2004, it has used an upgraded facility in Bedford as its official wind tunnel.

This wind tunnel had previously been used by the Arrows team, but was originally designed at the end of World War 2 as a facility for developing aircraft.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

The go-ahead to build a new wind tunnel was one of the final decisions that Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateshitz made before he passed away last year.

Team principal Christian Horner said in Austin that Red Bull was in a great spot in terms of the commitment being made for its future.

“We've got tremendous support,” he said. “We're investing in a new wind tunnel, and that's been signed off by both shareholders.

“We're investing in the facilities and the campus to make it a real technology campus to attract and develop talent.

“The commitment is absolute: our strength and our depth has always been our people. And I believe we've got the strongest technical group that we've ever had.

“I think operationally we're strong. I don't see any weaknesses in the organisation. I think that doesn't mean that we can't get better. You can always improve and you're always learning, but I think Red Bull Racing is in the best shape it has ever been.”

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