Wolff warning to Red Bull: Cost cap breach penalty could influence three championships

Reports have emerged that Red Bull have fallen afoul of the budget cap, though Christian Horner has dismissed the talk as speculation.


Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has given his take on reports that the FIA is gearing up to reveal that Red Bull and Aston Martin have breached the F1 cost cap regulations.

Ahead of second practice at the Singapore GP, reports emerged that Red Bull had fallen foul of the regulations.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner denied that there was anything for the team to be worried about, saying that he had heard no indication of any pending investigations or sanctions against the outfit.

However, speaking to Sky Sports F1, Wolff said that he was surprised to hear Horner’s take on the situation.

“Funny that Christian says that, because it’s been weeks and months they are being investigated, maybe he doesn’t speak to his CFO (chief financial officer),” Wolff said.

“All of us have been investigated diligently, and as far as we understand it there is a team that is in minor breach, which is more procedural, and another team that is more fundamental and massively over and that is being still looked at, that is an open secret in the paddock.”

MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 11: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“It can influence three championships

Wolff also highlighted that as any infractions would have stemmed from the 2021 championship, the advantage gained from any breach – and therefore any penalties – could also cover that year as well as 2022 and potentially even 2023.

“There is governance in place that is very solid that the FIA have set up, and this is that you are going to be issued a certificate of compliance, and if you are not compliant then this goes to the cost cap adjudication panel with independent judges.

“They can then choose from these penalties the appropriate one. But the crucial part is that, if you have been over in 2021, then you have been over in 2022.

“Then that means you have an advantage into 2023. If it’s true that they have homologated a lightweight chassis this year, they may use it the next year. So it’s really a cascade of events that can influence all three championships.”


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