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Red Bull questions FIA cost cap information leak

Helmut Marko has queried how Red Bull's potential cost cap breach was known prior to the FIA officially confirming the offence.

Helmut Marko has questioned how knowledge of Red Bull's potential cost cap breach was known before any official confirmation from the FIA. Red Bull's cost cap breach saga - where the team exceeded the 2021 cost cap of $145 million - appeared to reach a conclusion at the Mexican Grand Prix, with the team taking the FIA's offer of an Accepted Breach Agreement. The speculation about Red Bull's budgetary offences began prior to the Singapore Grand Prix, but an FIA verdict was given during the following Japanese Grand Prix weekend. Speaking about the cost cap drama, Red Bull's Motorsport Advisor Helmut Marko spoke of the 'politics' involved and believed that a 'draconian' penalty was applied due to pressure from rival teams. "Because the cost cap was applied for the first time, this draconian penalty was imposed here, of course also under pressure from the other teams," Marko told RTL . "After all, information went out in advance that we didn't have, that actually only one team had. Of course, there's a lot of politics involved," Marko added pointedly at Mercedes.

Marko suggests 'conflict of interest' offence

Whilst details of how the breach was made public are not confirmed, Marko continued to suggest that Mercedes might have known about the breach before official confirmation. Marko alluded to the move of Shaila-Ann Rao, the former Mercedes legal adviser who switched to a role at the FIA. "It's strange: an employee of Mercedes moved to the FIA, worked on these documents for the cost cap at Mercedes and was then responsible for checking them at the FIA," Marko added. "In our opinion, there is certainly a compliance violation or at least an indication of compliance violations. The whole thing doesn't make a good impression." Marko believes that a tightening up of the cost cap regulations is coming, and Red Bull are preparing themselves for the future. "I'm convinced that this will become much clearer in the next few years," added Marko. "We are hiring more accountants to have the necessary security here."

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