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Ferrari feel Red Bull F1 cost cap penalty is not harsh enough

Ferrari's Laurent Mekies believes it is vital that cost cap breaches are treated with the utmost seriousness after Red Bull's overspend.

Ferrari believe the Formula 1 cost cap penalty handed out to Red Bull by the FIA doesn't go far enough, according to Sporting Director Laurent Mekies. News broke on Friday in Mexico that Red Bull had entered into an Accepted Breach Agreement with the FIA for exceeding the $145 million cost cap limit in 2021. The team initially overspent by $2.2 million, but a tax situation with UK authorities was taken into account by the FIA, reducing the overspend to about $501k or £432k. For this, Red Bull received a $7 million fine from the FIA, and had its wind tunnel and CFD allowance docked by 10% for next season. Despite accepting the ABA, boss Christian Horner was quick to deny that any performance advantage was derived from the overspend.

Mekies: Cost cap penalty will have 'small impact'

Speaking during the Mexican Grand Prix weekend, Mekies felt that the penalty handed out to Red Bull was lenient. "We have to move on. The penalty is what it is, but we certainly feel it is low," Mekies told media when asked by RacingNews365.com about Ferrari's opinions on the breach. "We don't see it on the same scale as being able to compensate the overspend that was done, especially as it is not combined with any budget cap reductions [for Red Bull], and therefore you are effectively completely free to spend your money elsewhere. "[They'll] spend a little bit less on the wind tunnel where you have these 10% reductions, but you will spend it somewhere else, so we think that altogether, the real impact of the penalty will be very small, but we have to move on. It is what it is. "The important things is that we arrive at a clear breach and to confirm that breach, and moving forward we all need to do everything we can to support the FIA to make sure we don't need to wait until October next year to know how 2022 went. "I think it is something that will be shared by most people in the room, we'll certainly do everything we can to support everyone to reach that target."

'Significant lap time' possible with Red Bull's overspend figures

Mekies also stated he wants the FIA to treat any future breaches of the cost cap "as seriously as possible" and commented that a serious competitive advantage could be gained by any offending team. "The impact of budget cap on the competitiveness of the car is huge," he explained. "Therefore, we certainly as Ferrari are pushing to treat any potential breach as seriously as possible because it will potentially have a very relevant impact on the races we are watching. "It is good news that the FIA has reached a clear conclusion and as established a breach - good news for the sport and good news for us. "It's also good news that the breach is admitted by all parties and therefore we are very satisfied that it [the penalty] is what we were calling for. "We've been spending the last few weeks trying to talk together about what would you do with half-a-million more [money], what would you do with one million more. "From our perspective, with our numbers as Ferrari, two million euros over overspend would seem like something that would have significant lap time and influence races. "That is what we have been saying for a few weeks. It is no different today."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Monaco Grand Prix - Free Practice 2