Vasseur still unhappy over Red Bull cost cap penalty stance

The Ferrari team principal believes the penalty should have been harsher on the reigning champions

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Frederic Vasseur believes the FIA should have punished Red Bull further after they breached the cost cap for the 2021 Formula 1 season.

The Milton Keynes-based team helped Max Verstappen win his first world title having gone over the cost cap that had been introduced for that season. They were eventually punished with a drop in wind tunnel time and further financial penalties late in the 2022 season.

Vasseur, though, thinks Red Bull got off lightly having since moved from Alfa Romeo to Ferrari in the team principal role.

“I don’t think it was a penalty,” Vasseur told the media. “That’s very little. If you consider that we gain less than a second through aerodynamics in a season, then ten per cent is a tenth of a second.

“And they can use the money elsewhere. That means that the penalty is really marginal.”

No excuses

Vasseur took over the Scuderia at the beginning of 2023 having guided Alfa Romeo to a number of impressive results but the new campaign has not started smoothly.

Charles Leclerc has only finished one race out of the opening three and Carlos Sainz also failed to score in Australia after Leclerc’s lap one gravel trip. Vasseur does not want to use the cost cap as an excuse for their poor performances in 2023 after they were the closest to Red Bull in 2022.

“I don’t want to say that they didn’t do a good job because they did a very good job with their car,” Vasseur continued.

“And I try not to make any excuses either, it’s not like that. But if you ask me if the punishment was too light, then I’ll say yes.”

Ferrari are fourth in the constructors’ standings after three races in 2023 with Mercedes and Aston Martin both considerably clear of the prancing horses. Leclerc is down in 10th in the drivers’ standings with only six points gained in Saudi Arabia.

Joe Ellis
Joe Ellis
Joe Ellis is a motorsport journalist with experience working in BTCC. He is the resident IndyCar correspondent for Total-Motorsport.com and a top class F1 writer.
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