Toto Wolff denies FIA leak claim after Red Bull accusation

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has rejected claims and denied any wrongdoing by his team amid the cost cap scandal.

The Red Bull cost cap scandal has been the topic on everyone’s lips for a number of weeks now, with the new constructors’ championship winners recently being punished for exceeding the 2021 budget cap of $145m.

While the FIA only announced their findings about Red Bull’s wrong doing recently, the rumours around the breach have been spreading like wildfire since the Singapore Grand Prix, weeks before any official statement.

While there was obviously a leak, it is yet to be known where exactly it stemmed from, with Shaila-Ann Rao, the FIA’s secretary general for motorsport, who was previously a lawyer and associate for Toto Wolff’s Mercedes team being one of the main suspected culprits.

Wolff has denied suggestion that Rao is the source of the leak, claiming that Red Bull are just trying to stir the pot in an attempt to shift some blame off of themselves.

READ: George Russell hails Mercedes upgrades, laments ‘terrible lap’

“The leak is not from the FIA,” he insisted.

“There are ten finance directors sitting together all year trying to figure out who did what.

“Who talked about it? I think it was them,” Wolff suggested.

“But there was a violation – so it doesn’t matter how it came about. A violation is a violation.

Article continues below

“This is also a kind of secondary theatre of war, it is an attempt by Red Bull to shift the focus.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has made his distaste for the other team’s actions very public, claiming that the other team principals have been out of order with how they have conducted themselves with the ‘cashgate’ scandal.

READ: McLaren hit out at FIA over Red Bull punishment

Horner has claimed that his team have been hit hard by the accusations, with the brand and it’s sponsors taking reputational damage and staff members seeing their children bullied for having their parents branded as ‘cheats’ in the media.

The Red Bull boss wants teams to face action for their accusations, with many in the paddock calling Red Bull cheats and accusing them over a bigger overspend than was eventually proved, basing their allegations on rumours rather than actual evidence.

Wolff has laughed off Horner’s comments, claiming that only one of the ten F1 teams has done something wrong, and that is Red Bull, so by calling out the other teams he is simply trying to play the victim rather than accept his team’s mistakes.