Mexico City Grand Prix: Ferrari ‘unhappy’ with Red Bull’s budget cap penalty

Laurent Mikis and Mattia Binotto
The Mexico City Grand Prix is ​​shown on 5 Live and the BBC Sport website

Ferrari says it is “unhappy” with the penalty imposed on rival Red Bull for violating Formula 1’s budget cap.

The International Automobile Federation (FIA), Formula 1’s governing body, said on Friday that Red Bull breached the cap in 2021 by £1.86m, imposed a $7m fine and a 10 per cent cut in aerodynamics research.

Ferrari’s racing director Laurent Miques said the Red Bull hack was “a huge amount” and that “the real impact of the penalty is very limited”.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner described the penalty as “extremely harsh”.

Horner claimed that the effect of the aerodynamic lowering on the Red Bull car “represents between 0.25 and 0.5 seconds of lap time – that comes from now and will be in effect for 12 months”.

Horner also pointed to a line in the FIA’s ruling that said had Red Bull applied the correct remedy to a hypothetical tax credit, the team would have been over the cap by just £432,652. He said this reduced overspending from 1.6% to 0.37%.

Mickeys, however, questioned Horner’s assessment of the penalty’s net effect.

In an interview with Sky Sports Italia, he said: “We at Ferrari believe that this amount (of overspending) is about a few tenths (per lap), and so it is easy to understand that these numbers can have a real impact on the outcome of the races and possibly the championship. .

“As for the penalty, we’re not happy with it, for two important reasons. The first is that we at Ferrari don’t understand how a 10% reduction in ATA (Aerodynamic Research Allowance) can correspond to the same amount of lap time that we mentioned earlier.

Furthermore, there is another problem with that, since there is no cap reduction in the penalty, the primary effect is to get the competitor to spend money elsewhere.

“She has complete freedom to use the money she can no longer spend on wind tunnel use and CFDs due to the 10% reduction, on reducing vehicle weight or who knows what else.

“Our concern is that the combination of these two factors means that the real impact of punishment is very limited.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff told Sky Sports: “Overall it’s good to see that there is a penalty, whether we consider it too low or too high.

“I think what you’re seeing is that in addition to a sporting penalty and a monetary fine, it also damages reputation,” Wolfe said.

“In a world of transparency and good governance, that just isn’t possible anymore.”

Mickey’s comments follow those of McLaren Racing chief executive Zac Brown, who told BBC Sport on Friday: “If the FIA ​​is going to be more effective and its sanctions will be a lesson to others when the rules are broken in this way, then the sanctions have a huge impact. To be much stronger in the future.”

Horner said in an interview with BBC Sport: “For an increase in spending of 0.37%, I think a 10% cut is very drastic, it’s probably a quarter to a half second of season development, it has an impact on our performance next year and it makes us challenging.” Bigger as we head into 2023. It’s applicable from now so it affects next year’s car.

“Whoever reduces that penalty is uneducated in terms of its actual value in terms of performance.”

He added that the lost time was a “huge handicap”.

“We didn’t spend a penny of that money on making the car go faster,” Horner said.

He added: “The FIA ​​has been tough, they stick to their maximum budget, that was important to them.

“I now believe in drawing a line under it, capitalizing on success, and hitting performance. We’re going to have to work harder and smarter with the time we have in the winter, which is our core development time.”

He rejected suggestions that Red Bull’s Max Verstappen should be stripped of last year’s title, which he won in controversial circumstances in the final race of the season after a tight battle with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

“We feel we’ve been chastised enough,” he said. “We feel the public remarks that we’ve been confronted with through the mud slung by some of our competitors is punishment enough.

“It’s time to move on – Verstappen is the 2021 World Champion and our focus is a lot now on the Mexican Grand Prix (this weekend) and trying to finish the season on a high.”

He denied there was now an asterisk against Verstappen’s first title, which he won after the race director applied the rules incorrectly during a late safety car period in the final race of the season and in a year in which his team broke the rules on spending.

“Absolutely not,” Horner said. “Last year has gone down in history as one of the most titanic battles in F1 history. Verstappen was a hugely deserving champion. Inevitably there will be partisan support on both sides but the truth is he did the job, he won the race in the final Grand Prix of the year and 2021 It is now restricted to the history books.

“People are going to pick a narrative at the end of the day. I think Max did absolutely nothing wrong last year. He won the fair and box sprint, as a team we have pushed out of our skin to break the dominance of one team that has dominated the past seven years, nothing can diminish what he did last year And it’s obviously supported again in 2022.”

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