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Red Bull penalty 'joke' threatens F1 - Ferrari

How much of an issue is this for the sport?

Vasseur Silverstone
To news overview © XPBimages

Ferrari Team Principal Frederic Vasseur has warned the "joke" of a penalty handed to Red Bull for its 2021 budget cap transgression threatens to allow for widespread breaches across the grid.

The Milton Keynes-based outfit was found to have committed a minor breach of what was then a $145 million cap, subsequently being handed a $7 million fine and a 10 per cent reduction in aerodynamic testing time [ATR].

Red Bull's punishment was seen as lenient and with rumours circulating that further breaches have been made to last year's cap, concerns have been raised over the effectiveness of the penalty system.

Addressing concerns when speaking to La Gazzetta Dello Sport, Vasseur insisted: "A penalty like last year really isn't severe.

"If it should be necessary again, such a penalty should be much heavier.

"You have to keep in mind that a technical advantage will translate into a sporting advantage. Therefore, the penalty should be sporting and not a fine.

"In soccer, if you use a hand, it's a penalty... they don't give you a [non-sporting] penalty.

"The deduction of 10 per cent wind tunnel time is a big joke. They have already done most of the work by then."

Difference between innocent mistake or a choice

"A 5 per cent violation is not small, it is big," Vasseur added.

"If you have a budget of $135 million, $80 million of that already goes to personnel, another $20 million to race costs, materials, brakes and so on.

"Making four chassis at the beginning of the season also costs about $20 million. Then you already arrive at about $120-125 million. This is about the same for everyone.

"That leaves about $10 million to develop.

"If you go a few million over your budget, then you should not look at the total $135 million, as has been said. We should collectively not shove this under the rug, because then you risk it being discussed at the table.

"There is a big difference between an innocent mistake or a choice.

"A bit like someone making a mistake on their tax return, versus a company arranging something to avoid taxes in a tax haven. We have to be tough: this is about the future of the budget cap.

"Otherwise, everyone is going to do the same thing. Then you free up budget to pay the penalty and say amen. The big constructors can afford all this."

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