Guenther Steiner outlines how FIA could’ve caused ‘real damage’ to Red Bull

Red Bull were the only side to exceed the 2021 budget cap, leading to a "draconian penalty" according to team principal Christian Horner.

After a month full of foul-mouthed accusations, rule-breaking, and financial queries, the ‘Cashgate’ scandal has finally been concluded, with Red Bull coming off it lightly, according to one team principal.

Red Bull were the only side to exceed the $145 million cap, something they were found guilty of having done so by $2.2 million, awarding them the status of having made a ‘minor’ breach of the limit.

After a couple of weeks of people throwing around statements of what they believe the Austrians penalty should be, the FIA finally declared prior to the Mexican Grand Prix what punishment the 2022 Constructors’ Champions would face.

It was announced that Red Bull would be fined $7 million and given a 10-percent reduction in permitted aerodynamic research, therefore affecting their time in the wind tunnel.

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner labelled the penalty as “draconian”; however, Haas boss Guenther Steiner thinks that actually the penalty “won’t hurt them”.

“Seven million dollars is a lot of money. But it won’t hurt them,” Steiner said.

“If you had said that next year you will have $5 million less than all the other teams in the budget cap – and I’m just saying a number – then that would have real damage to the development of the car.”

Haas are by far one of the lowest-budgeted teams on the grid, with the side having only just announced their first real title partner since the sudden dropping of Uralkali at the beginning of 2022.

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Putting the fine to the side, Steiner also thinks Red Bull are smart enough to “do something else” to make up for the aerodynamic research penalty, with the Italian certain that the punishment won’t “stop” the Austrians development.

“Red Bull is good enough to compensate,” he said.

“They can just do something else.

“There are still opportunities for them to develop somewhere else, so development doesn’t stop at all. It’s just moved to another area of the car.

“You can work on the weight instead. You can do so much with the money.”

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko is also seemingly unbothered somewhat by his side’s penalty, with the 79-year-old believing that Red Bull will work on “other activities” to make up for their wind tunnel loss.

“We don’t let these controlled actions throw us off course,” he told the Austrian newspaper Osterreich.

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“We make up for that with motivation.

“Also, we can mitigate the wind tunnel work to other activities, such as weight saving or suspension strategies. These are logical consequences.

“We are also making adjustments in our accounting and legal departments.”