Rival F1 teams wanted Red Bull “hanged” over cost cap breach - FIA president

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem says some F1 teams wanted Red Bull to be “hanged” as harsher punishment for their breach of the cost cap.
(L to R): Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing with Mohammed Bin Sulayem (UAE) FIA President; Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari;
(L to R): Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing with Mohammed Bin Sulayem …

Red Bull were the only team to have been found guilty of a “minor breach” of F1’s financial regulations for 2021.

The FIA announced that Red Bull exceeded the cap by $1.8 million, although according to Red Bull, the majority of that was due to a tax credit nuance. 

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Most of Red Bull’s overspend came in areas such as catering, old parts and covering things like sick pay.

In the end, Red Bull were hit with a fine and a reduction in wind tunnel time.

Ben Sulayem revealed that teams were pushing for harsher punishment.

“I believe that there was a balance between [the financials] and the sporting penalties,” Ben Sulayem said. “But we learned a lot and a big review is going into it, because who knows in the first year [of the cost cap] what is going to be the outcome?

“If you look at the other big teams, they will say we have been light on them. [In terms of] the penalty, some of them want to be hanged, they wanted to see blood, and the teams themselves see this as huge themselves. 

“So where do we draw [the line]? We have to be fair. Do we want to get rid of them or straighten up and not do it? The only thing I would say is that what we did in September/October should be done earlier. 

“But as it is the first year, we have learned a lot from it - and we are still learning. It is better to come at me in May and not just in October.”

The FIA president also voiced his frustration about information being leaked.

Max Verstappen (NLD), Red Bull Racing and Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 21,
Max Verstappen (NLD), Red Bull Racing and Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP), Scuderia…

Recently, the FIA have announced that Shaila-Ann Rao has left her role as interim Secretary General for Motor Sport after six months. 

She found herself at the centre of the controversy after Red Bull suspected that Rao - previously employed by Mercedes - had possibly released confidential information.

"We were in Austria having a meeting of the F1 Commission, and we were already talking about it," he added.

"It was already in the news, but it's frustrating sometimes because by the time you finish your meeting, something is going out."

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