The FIA on Wednesday announced that they would delay the release of the budget cap compliance report till the 10th of October, after the Japanese Grand Prix weekend. There was much anticipation that the FIA would release the results of their investigations into the budget cap reports submitted by all ten teams in Formula 1. Rival teams singled out Red Bull and Aston Martin for breaching FIA’s $145M budget cap for the 2021 season.
Red Bull especially got the brunt of criticism from the rest of the grid, Mercedes leading the way, for going over budget in developing their 2021 Formula 1 car by almost $7.5M. If Red Bull is proven guilty, they would be susceptible to penalties, ranging from getting a points deduction in the drivers and constructors table to suspension from a complete F1 season.
Toto Wolff’s Allegation
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has criticized the Red Bull team heavily for getting an unfair advantage. Talking to media between the Friday practice sessions of the Singapore Grand Prix, Wolff said:” All of us have been investigated diligently and, as far as we understand, there is a team in minor breach, which is more procedural, and another team that is fundamentally massively over and that is still being looked after. That is an open secret in the paddock”.
Christian Horner’s Reply
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has furiously rebutted Wolff’s remarks. Talking to the media, Horner stated: “We were a little bit taken aback by comments from two of our rival teams yesterday. The submission between the team and the FIA is confidential. I have no idea what the outcome of our rival submissions is, their accounting treatment or so on,” Horner said. “So I would be intrigued to know where their source of information for these fictitious claims have come from, and I mean, they’re hugely defamatory, and we take umbrage to them. One can only assume it’s not coincidental that this is at a point where Max has his first strike at a world championship.” Horner also indicated that they would take legal action against those who have made defamatory remarks against the Red Bull team.
In their press release, the FIA said that they would not consider any comments made by anyone outside the domain of the governing body’s investigation team. In a press release, they said: “As previously communicated, there has been significant and unsubstantiated speculation and conjecture concerning this matter, and the FIA reiterates that until it is finalized, no further information will be provided. The FIA also reiterates that any suggestion that FIA personnel have disclosed sensitive information is equally baseless”.
The general feeling in the media is that teams who had managed to go outside the spending limit for the 2021 season haven’t gone way overboard. Therefore they don’t expect any team to be penalized heavily, nor are they entertaining the possibility that the penalties would impact the 2021 points table.