Last week, the FIA revealed that Red Bull had been found in ‘minor’ breach of the Formula 1 cost cap, after weeks of speculation from other teams.
According to reports, Red Bull overspent on last season’s $145m cap by less than five percent – however, an exact figure has yet to be revealed by the sport’s governing body.
This weekend, reporters have been finding out exactly what the rest of the grid thinks of the breach, with Red Bull being the only team to have exceeded their 2021 limit.
Speaking on Thursday, Red Bull driver Sergio Perez insisted the team has done nothing wrong, despite the findings published in the formal FIA investigation.
He said: “We believe that we are in line and we believe that everything will come up in the right situation,” Perez said. “Obviously, I will leave it down to my team to solve that together with the FIA.
“At the end of the day, there are always teams that want to take performance out of you, especially when you are winning.
“It’s part of the sport, and this has been the case forever. I just think it’s a normal situation. At the end of the day, facts will come out and people will see and understand the situation.”
Meanwhile, his teammate – 2022 world champion – Max Verstappen, said: “Nothing has been confirmed yet but as a team, we know what we have to deal with and we are very clear with what we think is correct.
“I think it’s mainly because we’re doing well.
“They try to slow us down in any way possible. That’s how Formula 1 works… everyone is at the end of the day a bit hypocritical.
“We just have to focus on our job.”
As for the other teams on the grid, Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas has spoken out hoping officials will impose a “strict and harsh” penalty on Red Bull for the cost cap breach.
“The rules are the rules and if you don’t follow them there should be a penalty that really hurts,” Bottas said.
“You don’t want anyone to have the appetite to maximise for one year and risk it with the budget cap.
“I personally hope it’s going to be a strict and harsh penalty because that shouldn’t happen. The rules are the rules. There’s many rules in F1 and this shouldn’t be any different in terms of the penalty.
“Let’s hope it’s a good penalty that really hurts them, because I was in the fight last year. We got the constructors but we missed the drivers title by a few points, and a few million can make a big, big difference.”
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz also spoke on the subject during the first drivers’ press conference and called said a penalty is “important” to discourage similar breaches in future.
“I think every team and every driver, we just want clarity first of all, and second, fairness. We all know how much one-two-three-four, I don’t know the number, million can make to car development and car speed in F1,” Sainz said.
“That’s why a few years ago all the top teams were spending $350m, and now we’re spending $150m to keep these things under control.
“I just hope that if there’s a penalty, the penalty is relatively important enough to take the appetite away from overspending two or three million to waste on next year’s car, because you think next year’s car is worth it more than the other year, and then you take a penalty for it.
“I just think it needs to be fair play for everyone, and if there’s a cost cap it needs to be followed and I just hope the FIA takes the right decision to make sure everyone follows it.”