FIA urged to change Red Bull penalty with Christian Horner ‘not hurt’

Christian Horner on Red Bull's success and hints at next step

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Guenther Steiner has called on the FIA to issue Red Bull a tougher penalty for breaking cost cap rules last season. The Haas boss has claimed the current punishment and fine “doesn’t hurt” Red Bull as much as it should.

Instead, he has called for Christian Horner and the team to be stripped of some of its budget cap allowance for next season. Steiner told RTL: “There are still opportunities to develop somewhere else, development hasn’t stopped.

“It was just moved to a different area for the vehicle: you can work on the weight, you can do so much with the money. Seven million dollars is a lot of money. But it doesn’t hurt them.

“If you had said, for example: Next year you will have five million dollars less available than all other teams in the budget cap – I’ll name a number now, I don’t want to stick to it.” Red Bull have been issued a 10 per cent reduction in wind tunnel and CFD development for next season.

They were also issued a £6.4million ($7mil) fine for spending more money than the allowance. It comes after Red Bull were found guilty of breaching the cap by £1.8million ($2.2mil).

The FIA has accepted this would have fallen to just £432,000 ($0.5mil) if Red Bull had submitted their tax reports correctly. Steiner is not the only team principal to have called for tougher penalties and future budget cap reductions.

Ferrari chief Laurent Mekies had raised concerns Red Bull will be able to use money they can save from reduced wind tunnel time on other areas of the car. He claimed the team would be “free to use that money elsewhere” such as on weight reductions or suspension development.

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However, the FIA did not have an option of reducing Red Bull’s future spending limit within the Accepted Breach Agreement the team signed up to. Mekies has warned this was a “weakness” and something which needed to change for future rule breakers.

He explained: “It is not something that was available to the FIA if they were going down the route of the ABA. This is unfortunately one of the weaknesses of the regulations that they have written, and yes, I think it probably needs to be reviewed in the future.”

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