Mercedes and Red Bull deny they’re ‘hiding anything’ after TD45 introduced

Mercedes and Red Bull have addressed concerns about loopholes being exploited to gain an advantage.

Both Mercedes and Red Bull have affirmed their commitment to transparency and compliance with the cost cap regulations, leaving the door open for the FIA to verify that no loopholes have been exploited. 

The FIA recently issued technical directive TD45, which aims to ensure that intellectual property (IP) acquired from non-F1 projects is accounted for within the budget cap framework.

Given that Mercedes’ technical director, James Allison, has been involved in INEOS’ America’s Cup sailing project, and Red Bull’s engineering genius, Adrian Newey, also works outside of the F1 team, both outfits, along with several others, have faced scrutiny regarding their adherence to the regulations. 

However, neither Mercedes nor Red Bull are concerned about potential consequences, as they have asserted their full compliance.

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff stated, “We have one entity, and that same entity does all the F1 work and does some of the non-F1 work, where America’s Cup is the biggest activity for some of our non-F1 customers. 

“All is transparent. All the books are open… All is on the table. In that respect, we have nothing to hide. 

“Every detail of our non-F1 work is being put open to the FIA, and I hope we can be a role model to other teams.”

Wolff also expressed his belief that other teams, although not specifically named, have taken advantage of this particular loophole. 

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However, he expressed confidence in the FIA’s ability to thoroughly investigate the matter, stating, “But the work that the FIA has put into auditing us was big work and big effort, and I have no doubt that they are going to do the same with the other teams. 

“If someone has been cavalier or has cheated, then they’re going to find out.”

Red Bull, which has faced repercussions for breaching cost cap regulations in the past, also emphasised its commitment to compliance and transparency. 

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner commented, “We’ve had a very constructive period with the FIA… we have a huge amount of process in place regarding compliance… 

“As the regulations and things like TD45 firm up and become regulatory, it actually just creates more clarity… 

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“We’ve worked closely with the FIA, and they’ve done a very thorough job.”

The FIA has intensified its monitoring of cost cap spending and has sent teams a comprehensive questionnaire containing over 100 inquiries about their specific costs. 

This heightened scrutiny aims to ensure that teams are accountable for their financial activities and comply with the regulations.