F1 chief agrees with new Ferrari boss over calls for rules changes

Horner opens up on Red Bull's 'barren spell' amid Mercedes dominance

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F1’s chief technical officer Pay Symonds has agreed with Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur over the need for a crucial rule change. The pair have both called for new measures to identify budget cap breaches after Red Bull were found guilty of exceeding the cap.

Symonds’ remarks come after Vasseur claimed F1 needed to be “more strict” on teams and identify issues quickly. The former Williams engineer agreed Red Bull’s penalty was light but stressed the technology does not currently exist to identify issues earlier.

Symonds told Total-Motorsport.com: “I do agree that it would be really nice if we absolutely knew the budget numbers looked like in real-time,” he added. “Maybe we can get to that it’s not quite there yet.”

Red Bull were handed a £6.3million ($7m) fine for breaking the cap and a 10 per cent reduction in wind tunnel testing. But, the team did not get stripped of race results as their £432,000 ($500,000) breach was considered minor.

McLaren boss Zak Brown also called for Red Bull to be stripped of some of their 2023 allowance as further punishment. Vasseur hit back at the length of time it took for FIA officials to decide on a penalty while he also questioned the difference between a minor and a major breach.

Vasseur told Motorsport.com: “Where we have to work today, firstly, it was far too long. We need to find a way to have a red light before, or to be able to take action much earlier. And we have to probably be a bit more strict on the decision.

“Okay, perhaps this was the first one, but from now we have to forget about minor and major. Because for me, two or three million, it’s not minor, it’s mega, for development.

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“I think we have to be much more strict and much more quick on the action.” However, Red Bull boss Christian Horner described the team’s punishment as a “draconian” measure.

He has also suggested the sanctions could cost Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez up to half a second per lap. Symonds accepted the action would still have a detrimental effect on the world champions as they bid to defend their crowns.

He explained: “It would be quite hard to calculate because when you have a new set of regulations, then the rate of development is very high. So every 100 wind tunnel runs you do, you expect a couple of points of downforce normally and probably more than that in the regulations. So yeah, they will feel it definitely.”

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