Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto says Red Bull's breach of F1's cost cap in 2021 could have had a significant bearing on the outcome of that year's World Championship. The FIA found after its auditing process of the 10 teams' finances for the 2021 season that Red Bull had overspent the $145 million cost cap by about $1.8 million after catering, sick pay, spare parts and tax problems pushed the team over the limit. For this, Red Bull received a $7 million fine from the FIA, and had its wind tunnel and CFD allowance docked by 10 percent for next season. While Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was quick to deny that any performance advantage was derived from the overspend, Binotto suggested that it could have made the difference between Max Verstappen winning the title and coming second.
Binotto: Red Bull acted illegally
"I have been saying for months that it is of fundamental importance that the budget cap should be well controlled, because these world titles could be decided by the budget cap, and that is what has happened," Binotto told Sky Italia . "It has become clear that one team has acted illegally and has significantly exceeded the budget cap. [$1.8 million] makes a lot of difference – that is a few tenths of a second per lap, and maybe it made a difference in last year's title fight." Binotto added that he felt Red Bull's punishment did not reflect the severity of the crime. "That is why strict action had to be taken, but the penalty for Red Bull is negligible and does not compensate for the advantage obtained. The wind tunnel time that Red Bull has to surrender does not cost two- to five-tenths per lap, as Christian Horner claims," said Binotto. "In addition, despite the fine, Red Bull is not allowed to spend less money, so they can use the time that they are not allowed in the wind tunnel to develop other parts – for example, reducing the weight of the car or developing a different suspension."