‘Do we want to get rid of them?’ FIA president on Red Bull cheating punishment

Red Bull were deemed guilty of breaching the 2021 budget cap by £1.8 million following the Japanese Grand Prix.

With the most recent season having been completed over two weeks ago, all the teams and the FIA have begun the usual process of reflecting on the recent campaign and, most importantly, what they could’ve done better.

The FIA in particular have been reflecting on the entire budget cap scandal, after it was revealed following the Japanese Grand Prix that Red Bull had breached the 2021 cap by £1.8 million.

Their opposition quickly rallied together, demanding that the FIA heavily punish the Austrians for effectively cheating.

It was an incredibly difficult decision for the FIA to deal with, given that the budget cap was only introduced in 2021.

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After much deliberation, the FIA awarded Red Bull a £6 million fine and a 10-percent reduction in permitted aerodynamic research over a 12-month period.

The latter means that Red Bull will receive less wind tunnel time than they were originally prescribed, with the Austrians having already been set to receive less than everyone else due to having won the 2022 Constructors’ Championship.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has since revealed that Red Bull’s punishment was “fair”, with teams having wanted the energy drink-owned side “to be hanged”, according to the FIA president.

Despite believing they made the right decision on Red Bull’s penalty, Ben Sulayem has admitted that a “big review” is being conducted into the entire saga.

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“We learned a lot and a big review is going into it,” the FIA president told Motorsport.com.

“Who knows in the first year what is going to be the outcome? We didn’t even expect it If you look at the other teams, they will say we have been light on them [Red Bull].

“And the penalty? Some of them want them to be hanged and they want to see blood. And the [guilty] teams themselves see it as huge on them.

“So where do you draw that? I mean, we have to be fair also. Do we want to get rid of them or we want them to be straightened up and not do it?

“The only thing I would say is what we did in September/October, it should be done early. But as the first year, we learned a lot from it. And we’re still learning. So it is better to come in May; not in October.”

It was also revealed by the FIA president that many new faces will be seen amongst the FIA shortly, with the governing body looking to expand their workforce for the upcoming season.

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“The financial regulation has been the first year; policing it is very hard,” Ben Sulayem added.

“And that is why we have discussed also employees: three more in the financial side, three more in the chassis and the PU. So more recruitment is coming ahead.

“If you don’t have the manpower and the proper people to police it, what’s the use of having this regulation? I believe that there was a balance between finance and also the sporting penalties there.”