Ferrari boss denies ‘making excuses’ while criticising FIA’s Red Bull penalty

Red Bull were hit with a fine and reduction in their testing time after breaching the 2021 cost cap on Max Verstappen’s way to winning the Drivers’ Championship.

Red Bull have had an impressive start to the 2023 season with three victories in as many races, taking the chequered flag in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Australia.

In the first two races, Red Bull secured back-to-back one-two finishes, while reliability issues in Australia saw Max Verstappen end in P1 and Sergio Perez cross the finish line in P5.

This string of success has been marred by a penalty imposed on the team by the FIA for breaching the cost cap in 2021 by 1.6%.

That overspend translated into around £1.9 million more than the £118 million limit, resulting in a £6 million fine and a reduction in their development allocation.

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However, while Red Bull attempted to justify the overspend, claiming the penalty is unfair, other teams have argued that it didn’t go far enough.

Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur felt that the penalty was “very low”, only costing Red Bull around a tenth of a second in car development – a minimal restriction given their clear gap ahead of the field.

“The penalty is marginal,” Vasseur told reporters.

“They did a good job but I’m still convinced that the penalty was very light.

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“You should consider the rate of development that we are doing this season – if you consider the fact that if you have a 10% ban it’s at the end, it’s not something linear.

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“And then you can spend what you are saving in the wind tunnel, you can spend it somewhere else, on the weight saving and so on.

“I’m not sure that the effect is mega if you consider that you had an advantage at the beginning of the season because you spend more the year before.

“I don’t want to say that they didn’t do a good job because I think honestly, that they did a very good job on the car. I am not trying to make an the excuse at all. It’s not this. But if you ask me if the penalty is too light, I say yes,” he added.