Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes any breach of the Formula 1 cost cap regulations would be "heavyweight." Two teams, thought to be Red Bull and Aston Martin are under suspicion of breaking the $145 million USD cost cap in 2021, with the FIA set to reveal each team's finances within the next week after audits. Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner believes his squad have fully complied with the regulations , with different penalties in place depending on how severe the breach is - with one team said to be considerably over the cap. Wolff, who has guided Mercedes to the last eight Constructors' crowns believes any breaking of the cost cap would be a "heavyweight" offence.
"That's heavyweight, that's massively heavyweight," Wolff told Sky Sports F1 when asked if it was serious or just the usual 'playground politics' of the F1 paddock. "We are using used parts, we are not running what we would want to run, and we are not developing what we could be developing. "We have made more than 40 people redundant, so they are dearly missed in our organisations. "It was a huge, mammoth project to make the cap. I don't know how many tens of millions we had to restructure processes in order to be below the cap, and if someone has been not doing that or pushing the boundaries, every million [over the cap spent] is a massive disadvantage [for us.] "I find it funny that Christian says [Red Bull are below the cap] because it's been weeks and months they are being investigated, so maybe he doesn't speak to his CFO. "As a matter of fact, all of us have been investigated diligently. As far as we understand there's a team in minor breach, which is more procedural, and another team that is fundamentally massively over.”
Long term benefits if over cap
"I think the governance in place is very solid, that the FIA have set up and you're going to be issued a certificate of compliance," he continued. "And then if you're not compliant, it goes goes to the cost cap adjudication panel with independent judges, and they can then choose from these penalties, the appropriate ones. "But the crucial part is that if you've been over in 2021, then you've been over in '22. That means you have an advantage into '23. "If it's true that they [Red Bull] formulated a lightweight chassis this year, they may use it the next year. So it's a really a cascade of events that can be influential in all of the three championships. Wolff also said it would be "massively" difficult to catch up to a team who broke the cost cap, given the extra benefit they would have gained. "You need to imagine that we have a pool of call it $140 million. If you're spending five to 10%, more than everybody else, that's many tenths of a second [in performance]," he said. "We couldn't reduce weight this year, which is probably double-digit over this year, because we simply didn't have the money to produce the new parts and put them on the car. "It wasn't there. So you fighting totally differently. "We have to carry a lot of the car and we couldn't do the development as we wanted to, but we did want to do, as we know that there is performance on the table for this year, which we couldn't bring and it is the same for Ferrari as far as I understand."