Russell says Red Bull’s penalty has to “take performance away”

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

George Russell says even if the fine for Red Bull “was a hundred-odd million, they’d probably take that and be happy with that punishment”.

Ahead of the United States Grand Prix, George Russell was asked to give his opinion on Red Bull’s 2021 budget cap breach.

“I think we’re all interested to see [the punishment] and it’s going to be a defining moment for the sport and the FIA when we hear the outcome of this breach,” the Briton said.

“I think the cost cap regulation has been a real benefit, and a positive impact for the sport, trying to bring a level playing field.

“When it comes to this, we live in such a technical world with small details where if you go beyond the limit, you’re punished.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s 100 grams too much fuel, or if your rear wing – like Lewis in Brazil [2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix] – is too wide, you’re disqualified and you’re punished accordingly.

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“When it comes to something about the money you’re spending, this is a pretty serious breach.

“If they’ve overspent and it’s brought performance to their race car, it’s got to be something to take performance away.

“Giving a fine, which has got nothing to do with their overall development or performance, would not be suitable.

“Even if the fine was a hundred-odd million, they’d probably take that and be happy with that punishment.

“Whereas if you’re talking reducing their cost cap or reducing the amount of time they can put into the wind tunnel, that is truly damaging,” Russell concluded.

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