Helmut Marko accuses ex-Toto Wolff adviser of leaking FIA info to Mercedes

Budget cap controversy has been a major talking point in the last few days.

Dr Helmut Marko, adviser at Red Bull, has suggested that Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, is still bitter about the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last season.

The Austrian has also suggested that his former legal adviser, Shaila-Ann Rao, is colluding with the 50-year-old in her new position within the FIA.

Red Bull were mentioned in a report last week that suggested that they and Aston Martin had broken last year’s financial regulations.

The teams were given a spending cap of $145 million, which they were expected to adhere to and document.

READ: Helmut Marko opens up on Max Verstappen ‘freaking out’

Williams submitted their documentation late, and therefore were given a fine earlier this year by the FIA, but it is now rumoured that Red Bull and Aston Martin might have overspent.

Later this week, the governing body is expected to give out certificates of compliance to those teams who have successfully stayed within the budget cap.

Wolff implied ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix last weekend that Red Bull might be in material breach of the rules, meaning that they would have overspent by more than five percent.

One of the possible punishments for such a contravention of the rules is an exclusion from the world championship, and many fans have been calling for a reversal of the 2021 standings since the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Article continues below

Max Verstappen beat Sir Lewis Hamilton to the title on the final lap that night, and Dr Marko indicated that the German side still have sour grapes over the infamous late Safety Car.

“It’s a massive damage to reputation, Abu Dhabi is long gone. It’s a bit strange that you still haven’t gotten over it,” he told ORF.

Due to Wolff’s previous working relationship with Rao, who is now secretary general for motorsport at the FIA, the 78-year-old indicated that she is leaking confidential information to her former employer.

“It is more than surprising how Toto Wolff came up with these numbers. He speaks of a massive overrun, there must be permeability somewhere at the FIA,” added a seething Dr Marko.

READ: Ex-F1 driver has very ‘strange dreams’ and trauma because of Helmut Marko

“We all know that a close confidant and former employee of Toto Wolff is now working in a very high position at the FIA.”

The feud between Red Bull and Mercedes has now, seemingly, reached the point of no return, with this latest chapter proving hugely damaging to relations within the respective hierarchies.

Red Bull boss, Christian Horner, labelled the claims levelled against his team “unacceptable,” and is even considering legal action against the accusers.