McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has labelled F1 teams who overspend as ‘cheats’ and has demanded that they face stern punishment.
In a letter leaked by the BBC, Brown states that he does not believe that a fine would suffice as punishment and that there should be a sporting penalty for the ‘cheating’.
“The bottom line is any team who has overspent has gained an unfair advantage both in the current and following year’s car development,” he wrote.
“We don’t feel a financial penalty alone would be a suitable penalty for an overspend breach or a serious procedural breach. There clearly needs to be a sporting penalty in these instances, as determined by the FIA.”
Red Bull were only deemed by the FIA to have made a ‘minor’ breach by overspending by less than 5% of the $145m budget last season.
Brown continues to say that a minor overspend is still an overspend and that it would be unfair for minor breaches to go under punished, seeing as any overspend still gives the team an advantage.
The McLaren Racing CEO has suggested moving the threshold to 2.5%, meaning Red Bull’s overspend would be major and dealt with more severely and in his eyes, fairly.
“The overspend breach, and possibly the procedural breaches, constitute cheating by offering a significant advantage across technical, sporting and financial regulations,” he argued in the letter.
With the playing field levelled with the introduction of the cap the American thinks it would be unwise to be so lenient with the rules, and undo the good work they have done.
“It is therefore critical that we be very firm on implementing the rules of the cost cap for the integrity and the future of F1.”
The American argued later in the letter that anyone found in breach of the cap should have their budget cut the following year, alongside a fine.
He also discusses the possibility of reducing wind tunnel hours and CFD time to compensate for the breach.
It remains yet to be seen how the FIA will punish Red Bull and Aston Martin for their respective issues surrounding last year’s budget, but with pressure ramping up from rival teams, the pressure is on the FIA to set a precedent for the new rules.