Red Bull’s cost cap penalty “a big joke” - Ferrari boss Vasseur

Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur has described Red Bull’s penalty for breaching F1’s financial regulations in 2021 as “a big joke”.
Red Bull’s cost cap penalty “a big joke” - Ferrari boss Vasseur

Red Bull were hit with a $7 million fine and 10 per cent reduction in aerodynamic testing time for their minor breach of the cost cap.

Many rivals felt the punishment was too light and it would set a dangerous precedent in future financial years.

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Giving his view on it to Gazzetta Dello Sport, Vasseur believes the penalty should be a sporting one, not a fine.

"A penalty like last year really isn't severe,” he said. “If it should be necessary again, such a penalty should be much heavier.

"You have to keep in mind that a technical advantage will translate into a sporting advantage. Therefore, the penalty should be sporting and not a fine.  “In soccer, if you use a hand, it's a penalty... they don't give you a [non-sporting] penalty. 

“The deduction of 10 per cent wind tunnel time is a big joke. They have already done most of the work by then.

Vasseur explained why Red Bull’s overspend wasn’t as minor as some made out.

“A 5 per cent violation is not small, it is big," Vasseur added. If you have a budget of $135 million, $80 million of that already goes to personnel, another $20 million to race costs, materials, brakes and so on. 

“Making four chassis at the beginning of the season also costs about $20 million. Then you already arrive at about $120-125 million. This is about the same for everyone.

Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF-23 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB19 battle at the start of the race. Formula 1
Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF-23 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing…

“That leaves about $10 million to develop. If you go a few million over your budget, then you should not look at the total $135 million, as has been said. We should collectively not shove this under the rug, because then you risk it being discussed at the table.

“There is a big difference between an innocent mistake or a choice. A bit like someone making a mistake on their tax return, versus a company arranging something to avoid taxes in a tax haven. We have to be tough: this is about the future of the budget cap.

“Otherwise, everyone is going to do the same thing. Then you free up budget to pay the penalty and say amen. The big constructors can afford all this.”

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