Mercedes and Ferrari break silence on cost cap breach

Three teams are reported to have breached last season's budget cap, but the FIA is yet to confirm this.

Ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, Mercedes and Ferrari have distanced themselves from rumours that three teams have breached last season’s budget cap.

It was reported earlier in the week by Auto Motor und Sport and that three teams have spent over the 2022 budget, leading to speculation as to who the guilty parties could be.

Red Bull, of course, infamously breached the 2021 cap, resulting in a $7 million fine and a 10% reduction of their allotted wind tunnel time for 12 months.

Mercedes have tried to distance themselves from the speculation, with team principal Toto Wolff having effectively denied that his side breached the cost cap, a budget he described as a “real constraint”.

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“The cost cap is a real constraint now,” Wolff said as per, “because you cannot just go for a B-spec car.

“Lewis [Hamilton] and George [Russell] have been pretty vocal about what they would want to change in the car and that’s simply not possible because we are lacking the financial corridor. And that’s why we’re looking very much at next year to change these things.”

Ferrari have also distanced themselves from the growing speculation, with team boss Frederic Vasseur having discussed how the Italians have worked within the cap.

“The main driver of this is the cost cap, that you can’t do a new project as was probably the case a couple of years ago,” Vasseur said.

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“It means that you have to adapt your project to the situation and in these conditions, I think we did a decent step forward.

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“You have also to consider that the regulation is much more prescriptive than before and it’s quite difficult to do a big step into the season. But we are, as everybody, already working on the project of next year, trying to correct the direction.”

Despite the rumours, Sky Sports F1 reporter Craig Slater reported that the FIA haven’t completed their investigations yet, which is “only scheduled to conclude in the coming weeks”.

The FIA have also insisted ahead of the Hungarian GP that “talk of potential breaches at this stage are unfounded”.