Toto Wolff Makes Unexpected Comment On The Outcry To Strip The 2021 Title From Verstappen.

Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff. said he does not “want to be in the shoes” of those deciding what penalty Red Bull will face after the FIA confirmed that the Austrian-based team had spent beyond the 2021 cost cap.

Last Monday, it was determined that Red Bull had breached the 2021 cost cap, which sparked uproar and demands for severe punishment.

Last season, the cost cap was implemented for the first time and each team had a budget of £114 million to use for expenses like catering, employee salaries(excluding the three highest earners), and car development (excluding the power unit).

The Constructors’ leaders were found guilty of a “minor” violation by the FIA, with the team allegedly overspending by up to £1.8 million. Although it’s unclear what the team overspent on, there are speculations that it may have something to do with catering or employee salaries.

Red Bull nevertheless went over the limit. The cap was established to create a more level playing field and give the underdog teams a chance to challenge the front-runners.

Red Bull has arguably cheated, as McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown claimed in a sensational letter to the FIA. The fact that there are several possible penalties is the main problem, though. Although a fine is a likely punishment, FIA might also decrease Red Bull’s resources or possibly subtract some points from their total for 2021.

Although the latter is improbable, it does mean that Max Verstappen’s first championship is in jeopardy because any points reduction would result in the title being stripped from him, officially making Lewis Hamilton an eight-time World Champion.

Wolff understands that the penalty decision-makers are facing a difficult situation, but he also recognises the significance of the decision for the future of the sport. He said: “I tell you, I don’t want to be in the shoes of the judges to judge on that,”

“Drivers are driving their guts out in order to be on top. There are decisions that the team takes that they are not involved in.

“But still, in the end, you sit in a car that is made on steroids. It’s such a tough call and I wouldn’t want to make a judgement call.

“To be honest, my thinking isn’t so far, it’s more about the principle of how this is going to pan out in the future. How robust are these regulations? How are they being enforced and policed? How is the governance process going to run?

“Because we don’t know, when it goes to the adjudication panel, how the judges will decide and then it is a learning by doing for all of us.”

In the event that the fine is insufficient, Wolff has already stated that Mercedes will purposely overspend in 2023 in an effort to reclaim its position as the top team.

One Comment
  1. $1.8M could well mean that Red Bull cheating bought them a championship…2022 limits are $5M lower. Who wants to guess if they clear the cap for ’22?

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