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Brown: FIA should take stronger action against cost cap breaches

Brown previously said that any teams found to have broken the spending cap should face significant punishment.

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McLaren CEO Zak Brown has welcomed the FIA publishing details of how Red Bull broke the 2021 spending cap, saying that it is right that teams found to have broken the rules should face significant punishment.

The FIA revealed that Red Bull will be fined $7 million and face a 10% reduction of its available aerodynamic testing time for 2023 after it was found to have committed a “minor” breach of the spending limits in 2021.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has said the wind tunnel punishment is “draconian” given the substantial impact such testing has on performance, and said that the recently-crowned 2022 constructors’ champions were victims of their own success.

McLaren boss Brown has been outspoken about the punishments that teams should face if found to have spent more than their allocation, sending a letter to the FIA expressing his support for the rules to be strictly enforced.

And speaking to media ahead of the Mexican GP, Brown said that it was right for Red Bull to face consequences of breaching the regulations.

“We appreciate the cost cap investigation is a complex process which the FIA have conducted in a thorough and transparent manner,” Brown said.

“I’m pleased the truth is out there now and it is the result is as we expected – there was a breach of the cost cap by one team, with the other nine operating in line with the rules. It is therefore only right that punitive action is taken.”

“If the FIA is to be most effective and its punishments serve as a lesson to others when rules are broken in this way, the sanctions have to be much stronger in the future.”

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL36, leads Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03, and Nicholas Latifi, Williams FW44 entering corner

Stronger action

However, despite his support for the FIA’s process, Brown added that he hoped the had improved the grid’s understanding of the new rules, and that in future, any further breaches should be treated more harshly.

‘We hope that the lessons learned through this process will now mean all teams have a clear understanding of the rules in order to avoid any future breaches,” he said.

“While we are pleased to see them act, we would hope the FIA take stronger action in future against those that wilfully break the rules.”

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