Toto Wolff lashes out at the FIA over Red Bull’s ‘minor breach’

Toto Wolff's accusation against Red Bull was proven correct on Monday.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has remained vocal about the revelation that rivals Red Bull did in fact exceed the 2021 budget cap, something which potentially questions the legitimacy of Max Verstappen’s 2021 crown.

Following much speculation, the FIA revealed last Monday that the Austrians had exceeded the 2021 budget cap, after finding them guilty of a ‘minor’ breach.

The big issue with the wording that the FIA chose over the breach, is that a ‘minor’ breach could be anything ranging from a few dollars to several million.

The budget cap was introduced last season to put a cap on how much the teams can spend, in a bid to hopefully make for closer racing and, more importantly, make for a more financially fair playing field.

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What the punishment will be is still unknown; however, the list that the FIA can choose from is worryingly extensive.

Red Bull could be awarded a fine, a resource reduction, a session ban, or even a points deduction from either championship in 2021.

The general consensus among the paddock is that they want a heavy penalty to be awarded or risk the faith and trust between the teams and the FIA collapsing even more.

Wolff explained the impact overspending can have on a side, with half a million being enough for a substantial upgrade.

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“Is it a so-called minor breach, because I think the word is probably not correct?” Wolff recently said.

“If you’re spending five million more, and you’re still in the minor breach, it still has a big impact on the championship.

“To give you an idea, we obviously monitor closely which parts are being brought to the track from the top teams every single race – for the 2021 season and the 2022 season.

“We can see that there are two top teams that are just about the same and there is another team that spends more.

“We know exactly that we’re spending – three and a half million a year in parts that we bring to the car. So then you can see what difference it makes to spend another $500,000.

“It would be a difference.”

Mercedes have endured a disastrous season, with their straight-line speed now being their underlining issue.

The W13 has proven to be fast when in clean air; however, the moment either Sir Lewis Hamilton or George Russell come across another driver, they struggle to overtake.

It comes as a result of the W13 being one of the heaviest cars on the grid, with the team not having the money to make it lighter.

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“We haven’t produced lightweight parts for the car in order to bring us down from a double-digit overweight because we simply haven’t got the money,” he said.

“So we need to do it for next year’s car.

“We can’t homologate a lightweight chassis and bring it in, because it’s just $2 million that we will be over the cap. So you can see every spend more has a performance advantage.”