1997 F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve disagrees with Red Bull boss Christian Horner’s suggestion that the budget cap should be increased.
The teams are working on a $140 million spending limit this season that must be spread between development, damage repair, freight and more.
It therefore means that everyone has to be more pragmatic with their spending and avoid spending too much on development so that they have enough funds to make the final few rounds of the year.
Due to inflation, Horner has been pushing for the teams to be given more freedom to spend, but Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur countered by saying that inflation is “normal,” and that teams should “switch off the wind tunnel” if money is becoming an issue.
Villeneuve agrees, asserting that Red Bull themselves agreed to the new rules, so they must now adhere to them.
“They have to fix up their car but everyone has agreed and signed for it,” he told Formule 1 Magazine.
“And if flying costs more, it costs more for all teams, then you only develop a little less.
“You agreed and then you don’t back down, the smaller teams don’t even get it, so why should they accept it.
“Alpine is a big manufacturer, has enough money but also sticks to it, because they play by the rules and they are still competitive too.”
The Canadian indicated that Red Bull had a pre-conceived idea that they were always going to try to push the FIA for more financial freedom; they just needed an excuse for it.
“I suspect they have already decided before the season that they will look for ways to increase it, but for now they have to stick to it, but what is the punishment if they do go over it?” Pondered Villeneuve.
“I don’t know. A financial punishment doesn’t work, they just swallow it.
“Decreasing points hurts even more. If they had to give money to the others as punishment, that would make it interesting.
“You’re in business to win and make money. That is the case with everything, that is life. And if you can bend the rules in such a way that you benefit from them, good on you.”
Mercedes were also not safe from Villeneuve’s stinging remarks, as the 51-year-old believes it should not be down the FIA – following the directive introduced in Montreal – to fix the German side’s “porpoising” and bottoming issues.
“I am less impressed with Toto Wolff and his campaign, they have always done everything they can to maintain their advantage in recent years,” explained the former Williams driver.
“Now they have built a bad car and that is their problem, not the FIA’s. Other teams have solved it too, why should they be punished with a possible rule change?”
Red Bull lead Ferrari by 76 points in the Constructors’ Championship having taken each of the last six wins through a combination of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.