Carlos Sainz fires fresh 2022 Red Bull accusation amid Cashgate Scandal

Red Bull have been found guilty of a 'minor' breach of the 2021 budget cap, with their punishment yet to be announced.

Staggeringly, Carlos Sainz has somewhat questioned if Red Bull have breached the 2022 budget cap, following the announcement by the FIA last Monday that the Austrians had exceeded the 2021 limit.

The budget cap was introduced for the first-time last season to make for a more financially fair playing field, which the governing body hoped would make for a more competitive grid.

A budget of £114 million was allowed to be spent by all the teams on the entirety of their car (excluding the power unit), catering, and employee wages (excluding the three highest earners).

Red Bull have been found to have breached this limit, in what has been confirmed as a ‘minor’ breach.

READ: Williams boss blames Lewis Hamilton fans for Nicholas Latifi’s retirement

The majority of reports state that the Austrians have spent up to £1.8 million over the cap, with a punishment to be announced shortly.

Teams and drivers have called upon the FIA to award a heavy punishment, with Red Bull having been effectively found guilty of cheating last season.

Despite this, a fine is the most likely outcome, something which has already resulted in Mercedes boss Toto Wolff announcing that should the penalty simply be a fine, then the Silver Arrows will purposefully overspend in 2023, to return to the top.

The list of potential punishments is extensive, with the FIA being able to award a fine, a resource reduction, a session ban, and even a points deduction from 2021.

Article continues below

Concerningly, though, Sainz has hinted that Red Bull might have actually breached the cap this season as well, with the Constructors’ leaders having “developed” the RB18 “more” than Ferrari anticipated.

Red Bull have taken upgrades to a staggering number of races, something which Sainz labelled as “fast-moving”.

The Austrians have cruised to the Drivers’ Championship and are on the verge of wrapping up the Constructors’, for the first-time since 2013.

Sainz explained how Ferrari have simply been unable to “keep up”, throwing Red Bull’s 2022 spending into question.

“If I knew, I would already have the solution,” said Sainz.

“I think during a Formula 1 year, it is normally a combination of both, but normally Red Bull moving ahead and us, obviously, trying to keep up on development.

“But they have developed the car a lot, more than we expected that you could do in a budget cap situation. They have been developing just incredibly fast and fast-moving.

“We try to keep up but sometimes it is difficult.”

The start of the season saw Ferrari in direct competition with Red Bull; however, the Italians have seemingly been closer to Mercedes than the Austrians as the season has gone on.

READ: Mick Schumacher set to wait for Haas decision despite US press conference

Tyre degradation has been an issue for the Maranello-based team and is potentially one of the reasons why they’ve slipped into a fight for second with Mercedes, although, Sainz on the whole isn’t sure where his team’s pace has gone in comparison to Red Bull.

“We are still working on it. We know that Red Bull is particularly strong in the race.

“We want to keep exploring that and keep improving our pace in those circumstances because it is where the points are made.”