McLaren hit out at FIA over Red Bull punishment

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has claimed that Red Bull’s penalty for their budget cap breach is not sufficient.

The FIA confirmed on Friday that Red Bull will be fined $7m and have their aerodynamic testing time cut by 10% for 2023 as punishment for breaching the 2021 budget cap.

The energy drink-owned team were adjudged to have overspend the $145m budget cap by around $2m, with the team suggesting that this was spent on catering and sick pay by accident, as opposed to anything performance related for the car.

Due to the fact that Red Bull have won the constructors’ championship this year, they will already have the least wind tunnel time as per the regulations, so a 10% cut in this time will really hurt the team.

However McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl does not believe that enough has been done to punish the team.

READ: Sebastian Vettel makes retirement admission after being urged to stay in F1

“In the end, on the positive side, I think it’s good to see that actually the FIA did a good job in terms of doing the audit where nine teams got it right and where it was confirmed that one team was clearly in breach,” he said.

“But on the negative side it’s also clear that, from my point of view, the penalty doesn’t fit the breach. I just hope that moving forward we’ll have stricter penalties in place.”

McLaren have been one of the most vocal teams surrounding the ‘cashgate’ scandal, with team CEO Zak Brown writing a letter to the FIA prior to the verdict, labelling anyone who exceeded the cap as cheats and demanding that a harsh punishment is handed out to deter other teams from breaching the cap in the future.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner discussed the findings in a press conference earlier this weekend, saying that while they accept the punishment, they are still not accepting wrongdoing with the cap ‘open to different interpretations’.

Article continues below

READ: ‘It’s not what’s left to prove’: Max Verstappen outlines 2023 strategy

Seidl claimed that he did not listen to the conference, labelling it a ‘fairy-tale hour’ that he was not particularly interested in.

With the rules now clear on the budget cap, Seidl says that teams now have “absolutely no reason to be in breach this year” and hopes that if there is any more breaches then the punishment for these teams will be appropriate.

With a precedent now set with regards to the FIA’s handling of the budget cap, it remains to be seen if teams will remain obedient next year, or risk the fine and reduction in testing time.