Red Bull suspicions

For months the rumor has been flying in the paddock that there were teams that exceeded the spending ceiling in 2021, the first year of its application. This medium knows that there are two, and this Friday ‘The Gazetta’ published that Red Bull is among them. The fact is serious, because it is the team that won the Drivers’ World Championship with Verstappen. It would be a minor infraction, less than 5% of the budget, which could incur economic or sporting sanctions. The problem is that the consequences of an infraction of this type are unknown, the budget cap has existed since last year, and the benefits of exceeding the regulations for now seem vague. And it all comes when Red Bull dominates the 2022 season with a complete single-seater and an unbeatable Max, on the way to its second consecutive title.

“The infraction does not only affect 2021, it affects 2022 and 2023, they are millions of dollars that can make the difference between winning and losing. We are very concerned, I trust the FIA ​​and the work of the regulators. What will happen? If one exceeds the limit and a fine is applied, I will start doing it too, ”Toto Wolff slipped to television. Mercedes already lived with controversy at the end of last season for that safety car that gave Verstappen the World Cup and took it away from Hamilton, and that cost Masi his job.

The big teams, those that managed budgets higher than the current spending ceiling, have had to reinvent their structures to adapt to the new demands. Ferrari, for example, posted some of its employees at Haas, with offices in Maranello. Red Bull has launched the engine division (RB Powertrains), which is out of the official game. Although it is feasible to audit the expenses of a racing team, it is very difficult to enter the grays that may arise from links with other teams, or aid through external departments of the same factory that are established outside the roof.

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An FIA spokesman has assured that the body “is finalizing the report with the financial data for 2021 submitted by all the teams, Any violation of the financial regulations, if any, will be dealt with through the formal process set by the rules”. It should be brought to a specific court. There are teams that fear that others will take advantage of such a young, green regulation. Others, like Ferrari, have openly pressed in recent months because they cannot explain how Red Bull has been able to introduce so many improvements, so expensive. “The rules are becoming more complicated technically but also financially. The spending ceiling would be a big problem if someone is able to find… more than a hole”, explained a ‘main team’ to this medium.

Free practice 1: Hamilton, the fastest

In early practice for the Singapore GP, Hamilton beat Verstappen’s time in the closing minutes of the session. In any case, the track improves a lot as it goes on and the impressions dictate that Red Bull had the advantage, with Max second only 84 thousandths behind the Mercedes. Leclerc made the fourth time and Sainz was sixth with a scare in his best lap. Alonso was tenth without putting on the soft tire due to a problem with the gearbox, a leak, which left him in the garage longer than expected.

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