Toto Wolff says a ‘minor’ budget cap breach has “has a big impact”

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Amid rumours of Red Bull breaching the 2021 budget cap, Toto Wolff says all F1 stakeholders “need to make sure that these regulations have teeth”.

The controversy surrounding Red Bull’s alleged 2021 budget cap breach is not dying down. According to the rules a breach, if established can be considered‘minor’ (less than 5%) or ‘material’ (more than 5%). Red Bull is rumoured to have made a ‘material’ breach.

While the FIA is expected to announce the official results of their assessment of the 2021 financial data submitted by all Formula 1 teams, Toto Wolff warns any breaches should be treated very seriously.

“I think the word [minor breach] is probably not correct because if you’re spending $5million more and you’re still in the minor breach, it still has a big impact on the championship,” said Wolff.

“To give you an idea, we monitor closely which parts are being brought to the track from the top teams every single race [in the] ‘21 season, ‘22 season.

“And we can see that there are two top teams that are just about the same and there is another that spends more.

“We know exactly that we’re spending three-and-a-half million a year in parts that we bring to the car.

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“And then you can see what difference it makes to spend another 500,000. It would be a big difference.

“We haven’t produced lightweight parts for the car in order to bring us down from a double digit [kg] overweight because we simply haven’t got the money, so we need to do it for next year’s car.

“We can’t homologate a lightweight chassis and bring it in because it’s just two million that we would be over the cap. So you can see every spend more has a performance advantage.

“There is a catalogue of penalties that the FIA needs to decide what’s appropriate or whether this goes to the cost cap adjudication panel, which is the governance. We need to see what the outcome is and then one can comment.

“But all the stakeholders in this sport, all the teams that have complied to the regulations, the FIA, Formula 1, need to make sure that these regulations have teeth.

“Because for the aforementioned reasons, you can gain a real competitive advantage,” the Austrian concluded.

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