Mohammed Ben Sulayem says rivals wanted Red Bull “to be hanged”

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FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem believes Red Bull’s 2021 cost cap breach penalty was ‘balanced’, but rival teams “wanted to see blood”.

As a result of Red Bull’s 2021 cost cap breach the FIA has handed the team a $7m fine, and its wind tunnel and CFD testing time for 2022 has been reduced by 10%.

While many are saying the team got off lightly, Red Bull is insisting that it is a harsh penalty. In a recent interview, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem said he thinks the penalty is balanced.

“I believe that there was a balance between [the financial] and the sporting penalties [handed to Red Bull],” Ben Sulayem said.

“But we learned a lot, and a big review is going into it, because who knows in the first year [of the budget cap] what is going to be the outcome?

“If you look at the other big teams, they will say we have been light on them [Red Bull].

“The penalty, some of them want them to be hanged, they wanted to see blood, and the teams themselves see this as huge themselves.

“So where do we draw [the line]? We have to be fair. Do we want to get rid of them or straighten up and not do it?

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“The only thing I would say is that what we did in September/October [release the audited accounts] should be done earlier.

“But as it is the first year, we have learned a lot from it, and we are still learning. It is better to come at me in May and not just in October.”

Ben Sulayem then revealed the FIA is in the process of hiring more people to police the budget cap.

“Policing the financial regulations in the first year has been very hard. We have discussed employing three more on the financial side and three more on the [technical], so more recruitment is [going on].

“It’s not only about the technical regulations or the International Sporting Code, but it is also about the financial regulations and monitoring and policing them.

“If you don’t have the manpower and the proper people to police it, what’s the point of having these regulations?” he concluded.

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