F1 teams gang-up on Red Bull and it’s messy

Red Bull reportedly spent more than it was allowed to for the previous year
Rival teams were incensed
They feel that this violation gave Red Bull a sizable edge over them

Allard Kalff, a former Dutch racing driver, thinks the revelation by the FIA that Red Bull violated the budget cap last year is even more outrageous than the violation itself.

Red Bull reportedly spent more than it was allowed to for the previous year, which was £114 million. This is according to reports that surfaced before the FIA published their auditing findings.

Rival teams were incensed, with Mercedes and Ferrari both adamant that this violation gave Red Bull a sizable edge. Christian Horner, the Red Bull team principal denied all charges and even made threats to sue anyone who believed his team had rigged the system.

The FIA eventually acknowledged that Red Bull had exceeded the budget cap for the previous year, though the actual amount was significantly less than the previously reported £10m.

Allard Kalff. Photo by Sports Sneakers

The FI governing body did not provide an exact figure, although reports said it was more likely around £1.8m. Red Bull reacted by expressing their “surprise and disappointment” at the findings in a statement.

“We note the findings by the FIA of ‘minor overspend breaches of the financial regulations’ with surprise and disappointment,” said the team.

But despite the slight gap, the managers of competing teams still want Red Bull to be harshly punished. The title of Max Verstappen for 2021 appears secure, with a fine being the most likely punishment.

The FIA, in Kalff’s opinion, committed the worst infraction by allowing the information to circulate prior to the publication of the official report.

He insists that what he finds extremely scandalous is that apparently, people knew it was Aston Martin and Red Bull who were in breach. Kalff adds that there should be transparency and findings into who benefits from such overspends.

“There should be a message immediately with: ‘This was what the discussion was about, this is what the statement is, this is what the punishment is,” he insists.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has written to the FIA and F1 to express his disgust at what he terms Red Bull’s “cheating.” While Brown’s letter to the FIA and F1 does not specifically mention Red Bull, it does make reference to the cost cap offences discussed earlier this month and offers a variety of suitable penalties.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown. Photo by Planet 1

According to Brown’s letter, which RacingNews365.com obtained he cites that the overspend breach and probably the procedural breaches constitute cheating by offering a considerable advantage across technical, sporting, and financial laws.

He adds that there is no reason for concern because the FIA has conducted a very rigorous, collaborative, and open process.

Brown adds that McLaren doesn’t believe a monetary fine alone would be an appropriate punishment for a major procedural or overspend violation. According to the FIA, there should unquestionably be a sporting penalty in these circumstances.

He proposes those indicted be punished by a reduction to the team’s cost cap in the year after the decision. Further, the penalty should be equal to the overspend plus a further fine.

For example, a $2 million overspend in 2021 that is discovered in 2022 should result in a deduction of $4 million.

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