Toto Wolff makes Red Bull analogy amid budget cap breach rumours

Max Verstappen has dominated the 2023 Formula 1 season and is set to win the title well before the end of the year.

Max Verstappen’s commanding win at the Hungarian Grand Prix, triumphing with a significant 33-second lead, solidified Red Bull’s position as the dominant force in Formula 1. 

Despite a minor hiccup on the podium when Lando Norris accidentally broke Verstappen’s ceramic trophy, the Dutchman’s performance was flawless, leaving his rivals far behind.

Toto Wolff, the Mercedes team boss, jokingly acknowledged Red Bull’s superiority, saying, “We are in the group of Formula 2 cars. 

“Red Bull is alone in Formula 1.” 

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

While McLaren appears to be leading the chasing pack, Wolff believes his team can still compete with the improved ‘B’ car that powered Norris to a second consecutive second-place finish in Hungary.

Wolff acknowledged the “gigantic” gap that separates Red Bull from the rest of the field but doesn’t advocate for new rules to prevent such dominance in the future. 

He stated, “It is the way it is. As long as they stay within the rules, they’ve simply done the best job.”

However, there are murmurs of another potential budget cap breach by Red Bull, following last year’s penalty that resulted in a fine and wind tunnel restrictions. 

Article continues below

Lewis Hamilton had previously described the penalty as a “slap on the wrist.” 

In response, Christian Horner, Red Bull’s team boss, defended his team, expressing pride in their performance despite the constraints they face.

While Mercedes, Ferrari, and Aston Martin struggle to close the gap to Red Bull, Wolff acknowledged McLaren’s impressive strides with their ‘B’ car, describing it as a “one-second” leap. 

However, McLaren boss Andrea Stella playfully corrected him, saying it’s even less than that.

Meanwhile, Ferrari’s progress in 2023 has been less remarkable, leaving Carlos Sainz frustrated with their performance. 

He voiced concerns about the car’s fundamental weaknesses and cited the need to understand why they struggled on various circuits. 

Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur explained that while everyone is improving, the budget cap limits the pace of progress, making it challenging to catch up.

For Red Bull and Verstappen, the victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix offered reassurance after their qualifying defeat. 

Red Bull official Dr. Helmut Marko expressed relief, saying, “We had concerns about Hungary and Singapore. 

READ: ‘Completely naked?’ Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez dominate media session

“According to the calculations, they are the most difficult tracks for us. 

“So such a confident victory is a relief. 

“It was also the 250th podium for us or something like that. 

“With each victory, we reach heights that we could not have even dreamed of.”