Ex-Formula 1 driver Martin Brundle has hit out at the budget cap “mess” that is currently engrossing the paddock.
Following the Japanese Grand Prix earlier this month, the FIA confirmed that Red Bull was guilty of a “minor” breach of the 2021 budget cap.
The overspend could be anything up to $7 million, but Red Bull has asserted that the accounts it submitted were below the threshold.
Ahead of this weekend’s race event in Austin, Texas, Brundle told Sky F1 that the regulations as they stand aren’t right, as it appears there is leeway for teams to overspend by several million only for it to be considered a “minor” breach.
“It’s a mess all around because we’re talking about 2021 of course, not this season,” he said.
“We’ve got some hearsay, we don’t have any facts as to how much have overspent, what it means, what the penalty could be.
“It’s described as a minor breach if it’s up to seven million dollars. Clearly the regulations are not right, they’ve got to be changed because most teams will tell you that’s a season-long development budget.
“The terminology, a minor breach, suggests that it wasn’t of great gravity. Clearly it is, Red Bull are very sensitive about it.
“They say ‘we think we were under, they think we were over, we want to explain why’. But everyone’s gone to ground because the process dictates that. It’s just bad for F1 to have this hanging over us.
“Here we are at a magnificent event again, four in five weeks and we’re talking about finances from last season.”
Some parties have called for Red Bull to be issued a strict punishment to set a precedent for overspending the cost cap.
“We all want to know, put it to bed and we’ll see what the penalties are,” Brundle added.
“We have to assume there’s negotiations going on behind the scene, a lot at the moment.
“But I read the document on the plane, 54 pages – it’s quite a well written document, you do need to be an accountant or auditor to understand some of the terms.
“It’s there because we needed to stop the teams spending themselves to oblivion. It’s a really good tool that F1 has put together, one of the cornerstones of what we’re now doing in F1 to save the teams from themselves.”