Team principal makes FIA demand, says he would reject financial penalty for Red Bull

Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur has deemed it crucial to the future of the sport that Red Bull are punished for their cost cap breach.

The Red Bull cost cap saga has been rolling on for weeks now, with the team being found guilty of a minor breach of the $145m budget for the 2021 season, which was won on the final race weekend by Max Verstappen.

Multiple team principals have come out to speak to on matter in recent weeks, with Toto Wolff telling the media that if Red Bull’s punishment is weak, Mercedes will not hesitate to spend over the 2023 cost cap to get back to winning ways, taking a soft punishment as collateral damage.

McLaren boss Zak Brown has also penned an aggressive letter to the FIA branding Red Bull as cheats and pushing for an appropriately severe punishment.

Alfa Romeo team principal Fred Vasseur has now weighed in on the argument, suggesting that it is vital for Red Bull to receive a harsher punishment if the FIA expect the rules to be followed in the coming seasons.

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“The most important thing for me is that it is a good level of penalty, that it is not because we are in a rush that we have to do something like this and take a decision,” he said.

“This is crucial for F1 and for the future of the cost cap and now it is in the hands of the FIA to find the right level of punishment.

“But for me, it has to be a sporting [penalty] because, at the end of the day, it is a sporting infringement. We are not talking about a financial [penalty],” Vasseur suggested.

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It is believed that an announcement will come this week, after talks between the FIA and Red Bull were put on the back burner following the death of team owner Dietrich Mateschitz.

Red Bull are most likely to receive a financial penalty alongside a loss of testing time, with the FIA’s first offer to cut Red Bull’s wind tunnel and CFD time apparently being rejected by the team in favour of negotiating different terms.

With Mercedes openly willing to breach regulations should the punishment be an easy one to absorb, the FIA are under a lot of pressure to get this call right, with the integrity of the sport and its rules currently hanging in the balance.