Red Bull’s breach of the 2021 budget cap has been hot on the lips of team principals up and down the paddock, with the majority outraged by the wrong doings of the Milton Keynes based team and calling for a heavy penalty.
The energy drink giants were fined $7m and have seen their aerodynamic testing time for 2023 cut by 10 per cent, much to the displeasure of some, who claim that they will simply focus their attention on a different aspect of their car.
The one team principal who seems to be an anomaly in this matter is Williams boss Jost Capito, who has sympathised with Red Bull and called for the chatter surrounding the severity of the team’s punishment to stop.
“It is not certain whether the amount they exceeded the budget cap by was spent on performance,” he suggested.
“You have to admit that it was the first year of the rules.
“It is therefore not useful to discuss whether the punishment should have been less severe or more severe. It is what it is and at least there is now a clear yardstick.
“I’m fine with it all,” he concluded.
The FIA refused to put intentional blame at the feet of Red Bull when they announced their findings, stating that they found multiple minor breaches, most of which can be accounted to a tax reporting error.
It has been admitted by many team bosses that the rules were sometimes difficult to interpret due to the complexity of the new rules, and while Red Bull claim their overspend was down to catering and sick pay, Capito suggests that those regulations need clarifying.
“If employees eat inside the circuit, that falls under the budget cap, but if they eat in a restaurant then it’s suddenly out of the budget cap,” he explained when asked about Red Bull’s excuse.
“We know these problems exist now and next year it will be different. There are changes that all the teams agree on and are working on together.
“The regulations surrounding the budget cap are so complicated that it wouldn’t be perfect the first time, but it will improve over the years.”
Williams will be relatively unaffected by Red Bull’s lack of testing time next year, while Mercedes and Ferrari on the other hand will be looking to capitalise on the aerodynamic advantage they will have in 2023.