Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has hit out at Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, with the 79-year-old believing he still “hasn’t got over” the 2021 season finale.
The comments from Marko follow reports that Red Bull are set to be severely punished for exceeding the 2021 budget cap of £114 million, with the FIA set to award certificates on Wednesday to teams who kept below the limit.
Should Red Bull be proven guilty, then it will quickly become one of the biggest scandals in the history of the sport, something that could have huge repercussions on Max Verstappen’s 2021 title, let alone the legitimacy of it.
If Red Bull did indeed exceed the budget, which rumours suggest they have done by some margin, then their punishment for doing so could range from a hefty fine to a reduction in wind tunnel time; however, a points deduction from 2021 is also an option according the sport’s rulebook.
Wolff is believed to have met with Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto during the Singapore Grand Prix to discuss the matter, with both confident that the FIA will deal with the matter correctly.
The big question on everyone’s lips, though, especially Red Bull’s, is where has this rumour come from?
Marko has denied that his side exceeded the cap last season and that the ongoing rumour is damaging their “reputation”.
The important Red Bull figure states that Wolff hasn’t “got over” the controversial 2021 season finale, which could well become even more of a debacle, somehow.
“It’s a massive damage to reputation,” motorsport-total.com quote the 79-year-old as having told Austrian broadcaster ORF.
“Abu Dhabi is long gone. It’s a bit strange that he still hasn’t got over it.”
Wolff spoke to the media about how much he believes Red Bull have exceeded the budget by, with it believed to be around the £7 million mark.
Marko wants to know where Wolff has gotten “these numbers”, with the elderly Austrian convinced that there is a “leak” at the FIA.
“It is more than surprising how Toto Wolff came up with these numbers,” he said.
“He speaks of a massive overrun. There must be a leak somewhere at the FIA.
“This now goes beyond the usual political denigration. These are concrete and serious allegations.
“In our opinion, we are under it (the cap). If you interpret that to our disadvantage, we would be marginally over it.”
Wolff’s comments regarding Red Bull having exceeded the budget cap were met by a fiery response from Red Bull boss, and rival, Christian Horner.
Horner threatened both Wolff and Binotto with legal action over making a “totally unfounded allegation”, something the Mercedes boss isn’t afraid of.
The Red Bull boss stands by his comments that the team will consider suing the duo, as he wants the Austrians to consider “all of our options”.
“What I said absolutely stands,” he said.
“Let’s consider all of our options.
“It is totally unacceptable to make a totally unfounded allegation, and on the basis of what knowledge? What is the source of this information?
“This is a confidential submission between the teams and the FIA. I have no idea of the compliance of any of our rivals.
“Where does that information come from?” Horner questioned.
“Let’s complete the process. We have not been informed we are in breach of the regulations. So let’s get to the end of the process and understand where we are.”