Adrian Newey has conceded Red Bull faces a "tough" challenge to retain its world titles with severe aerodynamic testing restrictions limiting development opportunities.
F1 introduced a sliding scale for development for the 2021 season with teams separated by two-and-a-half per cent based on the success of the previous season.
These margins were increased to five per cent for 2022 and remain at that level next year, meaning Red Bull would ordinarily have 70 per cent of the baseline figure as the championship-winning team.
This would equate to 224 wind tunnel runs and 1400 CFD items per aerodynamic testing period [ATP]. There are six of these periods in a year, with the majority lasting eight weeks.
But as a result of Red Bull's cost cap breach, the team lost an additional 10 per cent of its allocated time, leaving a total of 202 wind tunnel runs and 1260 CFD items per ATP.
“The reduction in wind tunnel testing means we can therefore evaluate less different components, less different ideas," said Newey.
"If we are really smart and always put the right things on the model then, of course, it doesn’t make much difference.
“Ferrari won’t be resting. They will be sorting out where their weak areas [are]. They had a couple of reliability problems and they obviously made a couple of pit wall mistakes, so they will be right back.
“And then you saw Mercedes starting with a car that was quite a long way off the pace and evolving it to the point where it won the last race but one.
“So, we know that will be right there.
“It’s going to be a tough year, for sure.”