Toto Wolff has remarked the FIA’s description of the budget cap breach by rival team Red Bull as a ‘Minor Overspend Breach’ is not justifiable.
The Austrian instead believes that any breach, no matter how minor, makes a significant difference in a team’s performance.
Formula One’s governing body, the FIA, on Monday announced that Red Bull has committed a “Minor Overspend Breach” in relation to last year’s budget cap.
Given that the cap was set at $145 million, the team overspent by less than $7.25 million, or 5% of the cap. As it stands, only the FIA knows the exact figure that Red Bull exceeded.
The Mercedes team boss remains contrasted with the FIA’s assertion of the breach as ‘minor’. Wolff is of the belief that even an overspend of half a million dollars could impact a team’s performance.
“Is it a so-called minor breach, because I think the word is probably not correct?” he recently said.
“If you’re spending five million more, and you’re still in the minor breach, it still has a big impact on the championship.
“To give you an idea, we obviously monitor closely which parts are being brought to the track from the top teams every single race – for the 2021 season and the 2022 season.
“We can see that there are two top teams that are just about the same and there is another team 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. So, then you can see what difference it makes to spend another $500,000.
“It would be a difference.”
Wolff further emphasized how the heaviness of the W13 has negatively impacted the team’s performance.
While Wolff would have gladly spent the money to build a lighter chassis, he claims Mercedes simply didn’t have it within the constraints of the budget.
“We haven’t produced lightweight parts for the car in order to bring us down from a double-digit overweight because we simply haven’t got the money,” he said. “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 $2 million that we will be over the cap. So, you can see every spend more has a performance advantage.”