This Friday it has been announced that Red Bull has signed an ‘Accepted Infraction Agreement’ with the FIA, assuming sanctions and in turn admitting having breached the financial regulations of F1 2021.
As a result, Red Bull will see its aerodynamic tests reduced by 10% for 12 months and a fine of 7 million dollars (just over 7 million euros) has been imposed.
“I think in terms of the penalty, for us it’s too little,” Mercedes director Toto Wolff told Motorsport.com. “For them, it will be too much.”
As for the Red Bull penalties , the Austrian added: “I think any reduction in wind tunnel time is going to be detrimental. But how detrimental? It’s hard to judge at the moment.”
“I think in absolute terms $7m is a lot of money. But maybe in the overall scheme for Red Bull, considering the investment they make in terms of the power unit and the team, it’s not.
Wolff agreed that the outcome of this investigation will serve as a suitable deterrent to other teams, and will help ensure that the cost cap is respected in the future.
“I believe that the sum of the sanctions is dissuasive, the sports sanction and, to a lesser extent, the economic fine,” he commented. “But the reputational damage that’s going on is probably the biggest thing, and no team wants to suffer that, because obviously, we live in a transparent and compliant world.”
“Our shareholders or our partners demand that it be fulfilled, and in that sense that no longer exists [for Red Bull].”
Asked for his opinion on Christian Horner ‘s explanation of why Red Bull was over the limit, the Mercedes director said: “Nine teams complied with the regulations and stayed under the limit. This is a very profitable sport. small, and everything else is just hot air. There’s no mitigating factor.”
Wolff praised the FIA for overseeing the cost cap process and ensuring that Red Bull received a heavy penalty, suggesting the result showed “nothing had been swept under the rug”.
“What I see as positive is the strong governance,” he added. “Nothing has been swept under the rug. The FIA has stood by the process. And I think even though the administration of the limit is only 10 months old, it’s very encouraging to see how things are executed.”
“That’s the really positive thing about the process. Mohammed [Ben Sulayem, the chairman], along with a strong group of people, Federico [Lodi, head of financial regulations], Shaila Ann [Rao, interim general secretary for sport] and Nikolas [Tombazis, single-seater technical manager], they made sure that the evaluation and control of the cost cap was solid. And that’s what I consider positive about the whole process.”
“What we have to sort out are minor and major breaches. I think a breach is a breach. And that’s how it should be treated.”
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