According to Mercedes F1 team principal Toto Wolff, a Formula 1 team was overtaking “massively” the budget cap in 2021 and addresses the response given in the media by Christian Horner a few hours ago.
Two F1 teams are potentially breaking rules that imposed a $145m cap on their spending last year. Red Bull is one of them, Aston Martin F1 too.
Wolff said it was “It’s funny that Christian says there’s nothing important because they’ve been under investigation for weeks and months, so maybe he’s not talking to his CFO. In fact, we’ve all been investigated, diligently.”
“As far as we know, there is a minor infringement team that is more procedural (Aston Martin), and another team that fundamentally spends too much and is still under scrutiny. So that’s an open secret in the paddock.”
A minor overshoot according to the FIA but with great consequences according to Wolff
As for the punishment that Mercedes thinks is fair if Red Bull is found guilty of such misconduct, Wolff pauses, but hints that the massive benefit of those extra millions cannot go unpunished or lightly punished. He explains it.
“I don’t know. I think there is governance that is very strong, that the FIA has put in place. Each team will be given a certificate of compliance and if they don’t comply they pass it on to others. the cost cap arbitration panel with independent arbitrators, and then they can choose between the sanctions that are appropriate.”
“But the crucial part is that if you’re at the top in 2021, then you’re at the top in 2022. That means you have an advantage in 2023. If it’s true that they designed a lightweight chassis this year, they could use it.” next year, so it’s really a cascade of events that can influence all three championships.”
“It’s a very important issue. If you’re spending 5% or 10% more than everyone else, that’s many, many tenths of a second.”
“On our side, we have a car that weighs more than 10 kilos, but we don’t have the funds to reduce it. We use more and more used parts. We don’t use as many new parts as we want.” we are not developing what we could develop. We have laid off more than 40 people, who are greatly missed by our organization.”
“It was a huge project, it’s gigantic to do an F1 like this, I don’t know how many tens of millions we had to restructure, reprocess, to be under the roof and if someone didn’t do it, they didn’t.” get it right or push the envelope, every million is a huge handicap.”
“It is not for me to judge, and it is not for me to judge what the sanctions might be. The judges have all the freedom to analyze, but I would not like to be in their place because of the impact this has on three years.”
“At this stage, it’s still an assessment of what’s going on. I think it would be important to have some degree of transparency where the alleged violations or the alleged misinterpretations occurred so that we can assess them, because you have to imagine that even if the cost overrun is less at 5%, it’s still $7 million more than everyone else.
“That means if there’s a light fine, we’ll use all that extra 5% going forward.”
Annotate : The FIA is expected to make a statement on this case on Monday based on the latest information from the Singapore paddock, while full reports from the F1 teams should be available on Wednesday, likely with a fuller release to the media.
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