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Ferrari “not happy” with Red Bull’s cost cap penalty

AUSTIN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 23: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 leads Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving (16) the Ferrari F1-75 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on October 23, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Ferrari racing director Laurent Mekies stated that they are “not happy” with the penalty Red Bull Racing had received for budget cap breaches.

On Friday, the FIA confirmed that Red Bull had signed the Accepted Breach Agreement following a procedural breach and minor overspending committed by the team. As a result, Red Bull was given a $7m fine and a 10% reduction of aerodynamic testing time for 12 months.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner claimed that the punishment could have implications on their performance next season. At the same time, Ferrari has concerns about the penalty.

“We have talked a lot in recent weeks about what one can do with half a million more, or a million or two or three,” Mekies told Sky Italia.

“Two million [euros] is a significant amount, and we have given our opinion several times on this topic.

“We at Ferrari think that this amount is worth around a couple of tenths [per lap], and so it’s easy to understand that these figures can have a real impact on the outcome of the races, and maybe even a championship.

“As for the penalty, we are not happy with it, for two important reasons.

“The first is that we at Ferrari do not understand how the 10% reduction of the ATR can correspond to the same amount of lap time that we mentioned earlier.

“Furthermore, there is another problem in that. Since there is no cost cap reduction in the penalty, the basic effect is to push the competitor to spend the money elsewhere.

“It has total freedom to use the money it can no longer spend on use of the wind tunnel and CFD due to the 10% reduction, on reducing the weight of the car, or who knows what else.

“Our concern is that the combination of these two factors means the real effect of the penalty is very limited.”

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