Fernando Alonso likens Red Bull scandal to 2019 Ferrari controversy

Fernando Alonso doesn't think Red Bull should receive a major punishment for breaking the 2021 budget cap, but added they must've exploited 'grey areas' in the F1 regulations

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Alpine driver Fernando Alonso has rubbished calls for Red Bull to be disqualified from the 2021 Formula 1 World Championships, arguing the same rules didn’t apply for Ferrari’s suspected illegal engine in 2019.

Red Bull have been found guilty of a ‘minor’ budget cap breach – less than $7.25 million – while in 2019 Ferrari reached a secret agreement with the FIA following an investigation into their fuel-flow system that avoided any significant punishments.

“It’s difficult to know without having all the info,” Alonso told the media regarding Red Bull, ahead of the 2022 US Grand Prix.

“Ferrari won two races in 2019 I think, with something that we all know was not legal and nothing happened, they kept those wins, so it’s quite a maze.”

Alonso himself drove for Ferrari for five seasons and came close to securing two world titles but was beaten twice by Sebastian Vettel, who was Ferrari’s lead driver in 2019.

Pushed on whether there should be a different set of circumstances regarding race wins compared to championships.

“Imagine they won the championship in 2019 with that engine,” Alonso continued. “It is very difficult and I think we need to rely on the people that have the power and trust them.”

Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari and Max Verstappen of Red Bull during the 2019 Chinese Grand Prix | Charles Coates/Getty Images

Legitimate grey areas?

However, Alonso didn’t completely exonerate Red Bull. Instead, the Alpine driver congratulated them on exploiting the ambiguities within the financial regulations.

“Well they’re world champions, they pushed the grey areas,” Alonso said.

“I don’t remember many years where a team that won the championship wasn’t exploiting something that other teams were surprised at.

“So from Brawn GP to Red Bull 2012, I don’t remember Mercedes but to have a domination like they did, for sure the team was learning things that they thought at the beginning weren’t possible.”

Pushed on whether financial regulations can have any grey areas, he gave a typical Alonso response: “I don’t know, I’m just a driver.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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