Red Bull ‘suspended’ three major upgrades amid Cashgate investigation

Red Bull were found guilty of breaching the 2021 budget cap by $2.2 million, following a 'minor' infringement.

2022 has been a year of sheer dominance by Red Bull and, crucially, Max Verstappen, with the Dutchman having won 14 of the 20 completed races this season.

His superiority over the grid is so supreme, in fact, that his recent victory at the Mexican Grand Prix saw the 25-year-old claim the record for most wins in a single season.

The record was previously held by Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher, who both managed 13 wins in a single season.

With two races remaining, Verstappen could push the new benchmark all the way to 16 wins, a feat that is perhaps unmatchable.

READ: Romain Grosjean stands behind Lewis Hamilton in FIA standoff

The newly crowned double World Champion’s dominance doesn’t end there, though, as he’s been on the rostrum overall at 16 of the 20 completed races.

With two races remaining and with both championships sealed, Red Bull can ultimately let their foot off the gas; however, with Sergio Pérez on the brink of claiming second in the Drivers’ Championship, no such thing looks set to happen.

The last few weeks have been extremely challenging for the mighty Austrians, with the side having been investigated by the FIA for breaching the 2021 budget cap, something they were found to have done by $2.2 million.

This damning announcement, in addition to the tragic death of Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz, has made for some tough times as of late for the energy drink-owned team.

Article continues below

Nevertheless, they’ve continued to reign over everyone else, with the last nine races having been won by the 2022 Constructors’ Champions.

Astonishingly, they actually decided to ‘suspend’ three major upgrades for the latter end of the season following the ‘Cashgate’ investigation, according to Italian outlet Formu1a.

Supposedly, Red Bull had planned to trial a ‘lighter chassis’ which had been crash tested during the summer break, as well as ‘innovative’ sidepods.

Both are presumably targeted more for 2023 than 2022, with the majority of the teams having switched their focus to next season.

The proposed new chassis would’ve seen the side run closer to the weight limit, having been heavier than most at the start of the season.

A number of teams have struggled in regard to the weight of their cars; none more so seemingly than Mercedes.

READ: Alpine boss responds to Fernando Alonso’s favouritism insinuation

The cars are significantly heavier this season than last year, something which has been criticised by Lewis Hamilton, with the championship essentially going against their plans to become “more sustainable”.

“I don’t understand particularly why we go heavier when there’s all this talk about being more sustainable, the sport going in that direction,” said Hamilton.

“By going heavier and heavier and heavier you’re using more and more energy, so that feels that’s not necessarily in the right direction or in the thought process. The lighter cars were more nimble, were nowhere near as big, and so racing, manoeuvring the car was better.”