Mark Webber says budget cap issue is ‘Abu Dhabi popping back up again’

© Wolfgang Wilhelm for Daimler AG

Former Red Bull driver Mark Webber says Red Bull’s rumoured 2021 budget cap breach is “a big, big topic because it has an influence on last year, this year and potentially ’23”.

The controversy surrounding Red Bull’s alleged 2021 budget cap breach is not dying down. While the FIA is expected to announce the official results of their assessment of the 2021 financial data submitted by all Formula 1 teams, many have already given their comments on the issue.

The most vocal among them have been Mercedes’ Toto Wolff and Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto and Laurent Mekies.

These comments prompted Red Bull team boss Christian Horner to imply that Red Bull is considering taking legal action against those who make ‘defamatory’ claims against the team.

When asked whether the war of words between Horner and Wolff is similar to how it was last year, former Red Bull driver Mark Webber said the situation is comparable to the fallout from the controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“Well, is it Abu Dhabi sort of popping back up again?” Webber said on Channel 4.

“We know what was at stake last year, don’t we? And the fine margins [by which] that championship was won and lost.

“So yes, opposition teams are getting on their horse and having a red-hot crack that there might be something here.

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“The FIA, it’s up to them now to back up Christian’s comments because he says they are barking up the wrong tree.”

While the Australian acknowledged it is all speculation at the moment, he emphasized the importance of any possible budget cap breaches.

“It’s pure speculation at the moment. There have been some leaks around the finances of how certain teams control their budget cap last year in ’21, which was the first season.

“$145 million they had to stick to, which is obviously a canter for most of these teams. Obviously it’s a very tight budget, so everyone’s trying to stick to that number.

“Obviously there’s a competitive advantage if you go over and that’s what seems to be in question here with two teams, particularly Red Bull.

“Mr Horner isn’t happy, it’s a big, big topic because it has an influence on last year, this year and potentially ’23, because cars are designed where you stop where that money was spent,” Webber concluded.

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