F1 LIVE: Budget cap verdict delayed as Red Bull wait anxiously

F1 LIVE: Budget cap verdict delayed as Red Bull wait anxiously

Christian Horner insists he is “absolutely confident” in Red Bull’s submission as the team face a nervious wait to discover if they have broken Formula 1’s cost-cap rules.

The FIA was set to reveal on Wednesday which teams have complied with last term’s budget of $145million (£114m) but an announcement around 4pm BST confirmed that the report won’t be released until Monday - a day after the Japanese Grand Prix. The FIA said: “The analysis of financial submissions is a long and complex process that is ongoing and will be concluded to enable the release of the Certificates on Monday, 10 October.”

In the build-up to Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix, which was won by Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, the team faced unproven claims that they went beyond that figure – possibly by more than five per cent, which would equate to more than $7.25m (£5.6m). Red Bull deny the accusations.

Sanctions available to the FIA for a breach range from a reprimand, to financial penalties, to the deduction of drivers’ points, and even exclusion from last year’s championship, won by Max Verstappen in thrilling fashion against Lewis Hamilton.

Follow F1 updates live on The Independent as the FIA delay revealing their cost cap findings

F1 NEWS AND UPDATES

F1 news: Abu Dhabi rivalry ‘popping back up again’ as Horner and Wolff needle each other

Wednesday 5 October 2022 18:58 , Kieran Jackson

Mark Webber believes that the rivalry between Toto Wolff and Christian Horner is “popping back up again” as speculation continues about potential breaches of Formula 1’s budget cap.

The Mercedes and Red Bull team principals regularly clashed during the 2021 season throughout a closely-fought title rival between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

The Drivers’ Championship was eventually won in contentious circumstances by Red Bull’s Verstappen, with the ill-feeling between Wolff and Horner coming to a head during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after the controversial intervention of former race director Michael Masi.

Relations between the pair and the two teams have been rather more cordial this season with Verstappen cruising to a second consecutive crown and Mercedes’ largely uncompetitive, but rumours that Red Bull may have breached the 2021 budget cap have inflamed tensions.

Wolff suggested ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix that it was well known that Red Bull were being investigated over a breach, leading Horner to threaten legal action after what he described as “a completely unfounded allegation”.

Abu Dhabi rivalry ‘popping back up again’ between Christian Horner and Toto Wolff

F1 news: Christian Horner threatens legal action over ‘fictitious claims’ from Toto Wolff over budget cap

Wednesday 5 October 2022 18:28 , Kieran Jackson

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has accused rival boss Toto Wolff of “hugely defamatory, fictitious claims” and threatened legal action against Mercedes.

In a fiery, and tense press conference on Saturday, Horner insisted he is “absolutely confident” Red Bull did not overspend as Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to last year’s controversial championship.

Horner also suggested the accusations that Red Bull broke F1’s budget cap have been planted to take the spotlight away from Verstappen, who could claim his second title in as many seasons on Sunday. On Friday, Wolff demanded Formula One’s governing FIA takes robust action if Red Bull have broken the rules. Ferrari have also complained publicly.

Responding, Horner said: “We were a little bit taken aback by the comments from our two rival teams. The submissions between the team and the FIA is confidential, and I have no idea what the outcome of our rivals’ submission is so I would be intrigued to know where their source of information for these fictitious claims has come from.

“They are hugely defamatory, and one can only assume that it is not a coincidence that this comes at a point where Max has his first strike at a world championship. We are here talking about cost caps rather than the phenomenal performance Max has had this year. It is an under-hand tactic employed to detract from perhaps a lack of performance on track from our rivals.”

F1 news: What Max Verstappen needs to clinch the F1 world title in Japan this weekend

Wednesday 5 October 2022 17:58 , Kieran Jackson

Max Verstappen failed to claim his second world title in Singapore last weekend but his seventh-placed finish still means he is in prime position to wrap up the Championship at the Japanese Grand Prix.

The 25-year-old has a 104-point lead to Charles Leclerc at the top of the Driver Standings, with only the Ferrari man and Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez (106 points behind) able to mathematically stop the Dutchman.

With the 2021 cost-cap saga being delayed to after this weekend’s Grand Prix, focus turns to action on track: here’s what Verstappen needs this weekend to wrap up a dominant title as F1 returns to Suzuka.

What Verstappen needs

Verstappen has won 11 races out of 17 this season and leads second-placed Leclerc by 104 points heading to Japan, the first of the five remaining races. There are a possible 138 points available until the end of the season – five race wins at 25 points each, a fastest lap point at each and eight points for the sprint race winner in Sao Paulo.

Full permutations below:

What Max Verstappen needs to clinch the F1 world title in Japan this weekend

F1 news: Ferrari chief reveals why he believes F1’s ‘credibility is at stake’

Wednesday 5 October 2022 17:28 , Kieran Jackson

Mattia Binotto, team principal at Ferrari, fears that Formula 1’s “credibility is at stake” as the FIA prepares to announce if any teams have breached the budget cap.

Rumours in the last week have suggested that two manufacturers may have exceeded the cost cap limit, with Red Bull and Aston Martin both denying speculation that they had overspent. Mercedes and Ferrari have said that they believe that one team has marginally breached the cap and another by a more significant figure.

The sport’s financial regulations define a minor breach as one less than 5% of the cap, set at $145m (£114m) in 2021, and a material one as more than that. But Binotto is certain that even a minor breach should be taken seriously.

“It’s definitely a shame that we are talking about it in October of the following season, because at this point, apart from implications on last year’s championship, there are also implications for the current one,” the Ferrari team principal told Sky Italia.

“Let’s wait until Wednesday before making a judgement but, whatever amount we are talking about, it’s important to understand that even if it is four million, which falls into the category of what is considered a minor breach, four million is not minor.”

Ferrari chief reveals why he believes F1’s ‘credibility is at stake’

FULL STORY: Red Bull forced to wait as FIA delay verdict on F1’s budget cap

Wednesday 5 October 2022 17:04 , Kieran Jackson

The FIA have delayed announcing their highly-anticipated findings on the 2021 F1 budget cap until Monday.

News was expected today regarding the verdict, with Red Bull and Aston Martin facing unproven allegations that they are in breach of last year’s $145m (£115m) budget, though Christian Horner insists he is “absolutely confident” in Red Bull’s submission.

However as the clock ticked past midnight in Japan - where drivers and teams are gearing up for the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend - F1’s governing body confirmed they have pushed back the announcement to Monday, describing the process as “long and complex.”

The FIA said: “The analysis of financial submissions is a long and complex process that is ongoing and will be concluded to enable the release of the Certificates on Monday, 10 October.”

By Monday, Max Verstappen could be a two-time world champion - he will claim the 2022 Drivers Championship if he wins and sets the fastest lap at Suzuka.

Red Bull forced to wait as FIA delay verdict on F1’s budget cap

F1 news: FIA statement in full...

Wednesday 5 October 2022 16:21 , Kieran Jackson

“The FIA informs that the conclusion of the analysis of the 2021 financial submissions of the Formula One teams and the subsequent release of Certificates of Compliance to the Financial Regulations will not take place on Wednesday, 5 October.

“The analysis of financial submissions is a long and complex process that is ongoing and will be concluded to enable the release of the Certificates on Monday, 10 October.

“The Financial Regulations were agreed unanimously by all competitors, who have worked positively and collaboratively with the FIA Cost Cap Administration throughout this first year under the Financial Regulations.

“As previously communicated, there has been significant and unsubstantiated speculation and conjecture in relation to this matter, and the FIA reiterates that until it is finalised, no further information will be provided.

“The FIA also reiterates that any suggestion that FIA personnel have disclosed sensitive information is equally baseless.”

More below:

Red Bull forced to wait as FIA delay verdict on F1’s budget cap

F1 news: BREAKING - Red Bull forced to wait as FIA delay verdict on F1’s budget cap

Wednesday 5 October 2022 16:08 , Kieran Jackson

The FIA have delayed announcing their findings on the 2021 F1 cost cap until Monday.

News was expected today regarding the verdict, with Red Bull and Aston Martin reported to have been in breach of last year’s $145m (£115m) budget.

However, as the clock ticked past midnight in Japan - where drivers and teams are gearing up for the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend - the governing body confirmed they have pushed back the announcement to Monday, describing the process as “long and complex.”

The FIA said: “The analysis of financial submissions is a long and complex process that is ongoing and will be concluded to enable the release of the Certificates on Monday, 10 October.” More below:

Red Bull forced to wait as FIA delay verdict on F1’s budget cap

F1 news: Cost-cap UPDATE

Wednesday 5 October 2022 16:02 , Kieran Jackson

So the big news is.... there is no news! There will be no budget cap update today!

The FIA says: “The analysis of financial submissions is a long and complex process that is ongoing and will be concluded to enable the release of the Certificates on Monday, 10 October.”

So the new date for publishing the 2021 cost cap findings is Monday - a day after the Japanese Grand Prix.

All that anticipation...

F1 news: F1 managing director Ross Brawn in 2019: ‘breach financial rules, lose your championship’

Wednesday 5 October 2022 15:30 , Kieran Jackson

Formula 1 managing director and ex-Ferrari boss Ross Brawn warned back in 2019 - at the official launch of the sport’s new financial model and cost-cap plans - that teams who “breached financial regulations will be losing their championship.”

Three years ago, at a press conference in Texas, Brawn said: ‘Financial regulations are the dramatic change in F1.

“We’ve tried for these in the past, and we’ve not been successful. I think the crucial thing about the financial regulations now is that they are part of the FIA regulations.

“So the sanctions for breaching financial regulations will be sporting penalties of some sort, depending on the severity of the breach.

“Whereas before we had the resource restriction, which was a gentlemen’s agreement between teams – well there’s not many gentlemen in the paddock I’m afraid, and that was a failure.

“But this has teeth. If you fraudulently breach the financial regulations, you will be losing your championship. So it has serious consequences if teams breach these regulations.”

 (PA Archive)
(PA Archive)

F1 news: Toto Wolff labelled ‘sore loser’ for Red Bull accusations over budget cap

Wednesday 5 October 2022 15:01 , Kieran Jackson

Ex-Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher has labelled Toto Wolff a “sore loser” after the Mercedes team principal criticised Red Bull for potentially breaking the budget cap. Wolff hit out at his rivals at the recent Singapore F1 after reports described how Christian Horner’s team broke the cap last year.

The 2021 season saw a controversial end with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen’s snatching the world championship from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in the last few laps. Wolff’s comments has signalled to Schumacher that the team boss is not over the outcome of the season.

“No matter what comes out: for me, Toto Wolff, with his harsh criticism, is rather the sore loser who has not yet digested the fact that he lost the 2021 World Championship,” Schumacher told Sky Germany. “I think that’s a shame. What is clear, however, is that the cost cap must be adhered to. If that wasn’t the case, then of course there must be a penalty.

“The basic structure has definitely been shaken.The FIA has to investigate itself, because it must not and cannot happen that something slips out. What is happening here is only damaging Formula 1 and only the world governing body itself can be to blame.”

F1 news: Cost-cap UPDATE

Wednesday 5 October 2022 14:30 , Kieran Jackson

Still we wait for any news from the FIA, as we tick beyond 10:30pm in Japan where all the F1 teams and drivers are located ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix.

At 9:50am (BST) this morning, the FIA said it would update “regarding timelines for the financial regulations compliance process in the next couple of hours.” We are now beyond that point...

A reminder of what’s at play here:

Formula 1 installed the sport’s first-ever budget cap in 2021, set at $145m (£114m).

Minor breach = overspend of less than 5%. Penalties could be:

- Deduction of Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship points

- Suspension form one of more stages of a competition

- Limitations on ability to conduct aerodynamic or other testing

- Reduction of the cost cap

Major breach - overspend of more than 5%. Penalties could be:

- Deduction of Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship points

- Suspension form one of more stages of a competition

- Suspension from an entire competition

- Exclusion from the Championship

- Reduction of the Cost Cap

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won last year’s World Championship by eight points to Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

F1 news: FIA findings and punishments could be ‘game over’ for F1 cost-cap

Wednesday 5 October 2022 14:24 , Kieran Jackson

Ferrari racing director Laurent Mekies emphasised the importance of today’s FIA findings and possible punishments for the future of F1’s budget cap.

“It is a very vital test for the cost cap,” Mekies said in Singapore. “And, as we said, if we don’t pass that test, it’s probably game over, because the implications are huge.

“Should we talk about penalties now? Probably not. I know it’s probably what the people in the grandstands want to see and we respect that. But in fact we are much earlier in the process than that.

“Probably an even more key aspect of it is, is there a breach? Do we agree on the entity of the breach and that, as a result, confirm the rule everybody is obeying?

“So, I think what is very much crucial now is that the FIA fully enforce rules as they are written now. And then after the penalties are a different matter.”

Ferrari racing director Laurent Mekies emphasised the importance of today’s FIA findings (Getty Images)
Ferrari racing director Laurent Mekies emphasised the importance of today’s FIA findings (Getty Images)

F1 news: Aston Martin boss ‘surprised’ to be named in potential cost-cap breach

Wednesday 5 October 2022 13:58 , Kieran Jackson

Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack believes his team haven’t done anything “majorly wrong” with their finances ahead of the FIA’s findings surrounding F1’s 2021 cost-cap.

Aston were named, alongside Red Bull, as one of two reported teams to have failed to comply with last year’s budget of $145million (£114m).

“It’s a process where you give your submission, and then the FIA is analysing this, and comes back with questions,” Krack said in Singapore.

“And this process is still going on. So we don’t really know what will be the result. There is a discussion going on. We have questions about interpretation, they have questions about interpretation.

“And we were surprised to read our name in this thing. So, let’s see. We don’t think that we have done anything majorly wrong.”

Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack believes his team haven’t done anything “majorly wrong” (Getty Images)
Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack believes his team haven’t done anything “majorly wrong” (Getty Images)

F1 news: Mercedes boss Toto Wolff considering unscheduled trip to Japanese GP

Wednesday 5 October 2022 13:36 , Kieran Jackson

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is considering an unscheduled trip to Japan this weekend to confront the fallout from the much-anticipated cost cap row that is consuming Formula One.

The FIA is set to reveal on Wednesday if any teams have failed to comply with last season’s £114million budget.

Red Bull has faced unproven allegations that they broke the financial rules as they carried Max Verstappen to his championship win over Lewis Hamilton in 2021.

Wolff has called on the FIA to take robust action against any team that overspent. Christian Horner said he is confident Red Bull are not in breach and accused Wolff of “hugely defamatory, fictitious claims”. The Red Bull team principal also threatened legal proceedings against Mercedes during a toxic weekend in Singapore.

The F1 circus now heads to Japan – a destination where Verstappen will take his second consecutive title with four rounds to spare if he wins and sets the fastest lap. In an interview with the PA news agency on Friday night, Wolff said it was his intention not to travel to Suzuka – missing his first race since 2019 and only his second in nine years amid the sport’s demanding schedule. But it is understood the Austrian, 50, could change his travel plans, depending on the FIA’s verdict.

Mercedes boss Wolff considering unscheduled trip to Japanese GP amid cost-cap row

F1 news: Ferrari chief reveals why he believes F1’s ‘credibility is at stake’

Wednesday 5 October 2022 13:18 , Kieran Jackson

Mattia Binotto, team principal at Ferrari, fears that Formula 1’s “credibility is at stake” as the FIA prepares to announce if any teams have breached the budget cap. Rumours in the last week have suggested that two manufacturers may have exceeded the cost cap limit, with Red Bull and Aston Martin both denying speculation that they had overspent.

Mercedes and Ferrari have said that they believe that one team has marginally breached the cap and another by a more significant figure. The sport’s financial regulations define a minor breach as one less than 5% of the cap, set at $145m (£114m) in 2021, and a material one as more than that.

But Binotto is certain that even a minor breach should be taken seriously. “It’s definitely a shame that we are talking about it in October of the following season, because at this point, apart from implications on last year’s championship, there are also implications for the current one,” the Ferrari team principal told Sky Italia.

“Let’s wait until Wednesday before making a judgement but, whatever amount we are talking about, it’s important to understand that even if it is four million, which falls into the category of what is considered a minor breach, four million is not minor.”

Ferrari chief reveals why he believes F1’s ‘credibility is at stake’

F1 news: Abu Dhabi rivalry ‘popping back up again’ as Horner and Wolff needle each other

Wednesday 5 October 2022 12:58 , Kieran Jackson

Mark Webber believes that the rivalry between Toto Wolff and Christian Horner is “popping back up again” as speculation continues about potential breaches of Formula 1’s budget cap.

The Mercedes and Red Bull team principals regularly clashed during the 2021 season throughout a closely-fought title rival between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

The Drivers’ Championship was eventually won in contentious circumstances by Red Bull’s Verstappen, with the ill-feeling between Wolff and Horner coming to a head during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after the controversial intervention of former race director Michael Masi.

Relations between the pair and the two teams have been rather more cordial this season with Verstappen cruising to a second consecutive crown and Mercedes’ largely uncompetitive, but rumours that Red Bull may have breached the 2021 budget cap have inflamed tensions.

Wolff suggested ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix that it was well known that Red Bull were being investigated over a breach, leading Horner to threaten legal action after what he described as “a completely unfounded allegation”.

Abu Dhabi rivalry ‘popping back up again’ between Christian Horner and Toto Wolff

F1 news: Christian Horner threatens legal action over ‘fictitious claims’ from Toto Wolff over budget cap

Wednesday 5 October 2022 12:38 , Kieran Jackson

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has accused rival boss Toto Wolff of “hugely defamatory, fictitious claims” and threatened legal action against Mercedes.

In a fiery, and tense press conference on Saturday, Horner insisted he is “absolutely confident” Red Bull did not overspend as Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to last year’s controversial championship.

Horner also suggested the accusations that Red Bull broke F1’s budget cap have been planted to take the spotlight away from Verstappen, who could claim his second title in as many seasons on Sunday. On Friday, Wolff demanded Formula One’s governing FIA takes robust action if Red Bull have broken the rules. Ferrari have also complained publicly.

Responding, Horner said: “We were a little bit taken aback by the comments from our two rival teams. The submissions between the team and the FIA is confidential, and I have no idea what the outcome of our rivals’ submission is so I would be intrigued to know where their source of information for these fictitious claims has come from.”

Christian Horner threatens legal action over ‘fictitious claims’ from Toto Wolff

F1 news: When is Japanese Grand Prix this week?

Wednesday 5 October 2022 12:18 , Kieran Jackson

Max Verstappen has another opportunity to claim his second world title this weekend as Formula 1 returns to Suzuka for the first time since 2019 for the Japanese Grand Prix.

The Red Bull star – 104 points clear of Charles Leclerc in the standings – will be crowned champion in Japan if he wins and sets the fastest lap on Sunday.

Verstappen is looking to bounce back after a disappointing weekend in Singapore, finishing seventh, while his team-mate Sergio Perez claimed victory. Leclerc came home second, with Carlos Sainz in third.

Lewis Hamilton also endured a difficult Sunday in the rain of Singapore, finishing ninth after crashing into the barriers, while Mercedes team-mate George Russell came home in last place. Hamilton, still looking for his first win of the season, is a five-time winner in Japan.

Here is everything you need to know.

When and where is the next race?

Formula 1 returns to the famous Suzuka circuit for the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend - and it’s an early start for European fans.

First and second practice takes place at 4am and 7am (BST) respecively on Friday, before third practice at 4am on Saturday and qualifying at 7am (BST).

The race on Sunday starts at 6am (BST).

When is the Japanese Grand Prix?

F1 news: Red Bull’s reputation on the line today

Wednesday 5 October 2022 11:58 , Kieran Jackson

As much as last year’s unparalleled spectacle in an F1 season for the ages was characterised by Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton’s fierce battles on track, accusations and rebuttals in the paddock from the bosses at centre-stage made for narratives equally as engrossing as the action on the road.

Christian Horner and Toto Wolff were at each other’s throats essentially from Silverstone last July all the way to Abu Dhabi and the controversy that concluded the 2021 melodrama. War of words, bordering on trash talk, epitomised the high-stake nature of what was at play as Red Bull hunted down the Mercedes juggernaut. The impact, in reality, was felt by Michael Masi’s fumbled judgement, which swung the title Verstappen’s way and, if nothing else, had bosses at Netflix salivating at the mouth.

This year, by contrast and amid Red Bull’s domination and Mercedes’ shortcomings, has been tame and timid. Until Singapore this past weekend, that is. Before Friday’s practice sessions at Marina Bay, murmurs of cost-cap breaches quickly spread around the paddock, with two teams rumoured to have fallen foul of F1’s inaugural year of financial measures in 2021: Red Bull and Aston Martin.

Wolff, notably downbeat this year given Mercedes’ race-by-race failings, did not need a second invitation. Like a predator waiting in the shadows, the Mercedes CEO came out firing: “It’s been weeks and months they’re [Red Bull] being investigated, so maybe he [Horner] doesn’t speak to his CFO.”

Wolff went on to emphasise how exceeding the $145m (£114m) budget for 2021 would have a subsequent impact and advantage for this year and beyond. The latest development on Monday suggests Wolff could U-turn on initial plans not to travel to Japan, with the fallout expected to engulf the pit lane in Suzuka later this week with the FIA set to reveal on Wednesday if any teams have failed to comply.

Upon hearing Wolff’s statements – and similar quotes from Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto – a seething Horner came out swinging: “The (comments from other teams) are hugely defamatory and we take umbrage to them. One can only assume it’s not coincidental that this is at a point where Max has his first strike at the world championship.”

Red Bull’s reputation on the line as 2021 war of words return to the paddock

F1 news: Latest on cost-cap news

Wednesday 5 October 2022 11:40 , Kieran Jackson

No official news from the FIA yet on the highly-anticipated cost-cap findings for 2021, though we are expecting an update soon.

At 9:50am (BST) this morning, FIA said it would update “regarding timelines for the financial regulations compliance process in next couple of hours.” But still we wait.

A reminder of what’s at stake here:

Formula 1 installed the sport’s first-ever budget cap in 2021, set at $145m (£114m).

Minor breach = overspend of less than 5%. Penalties could be:

- Deduction of Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship points

- Suspension form one of more stages of a competition

- Limitations on ability to conduct aerodynamic or other testing

- Reduction of the cost cap

Major breach - overspend of more than 5%. Penalties could be:

- Deduction of Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship points

- Suspension form one of more stages of a competition

- Suspension from an entire competition

- Exclusion from the Championship

- Reduction of the Cost Cap

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won last year’s World Championship by eight points to Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

F1 news: Toto Wolff urges FIA to enforce F1 regulations

Wednesday 5 October 2022 11:19 , Kieran Jackson

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has demanded Formula One’s governing body the FIA take robust action over reports Red Bull broke the rules when Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to last year’s world championship.

On the eve of the Singapore Grand Prix – a race which could see Verstappen secure his second title in as many seasons – his controversial maiden triumph is under the microscope amid allegations his Red Bull team overspent.

F1 introduced a budget cap of $145million (£114m) last year. But Verstappen’s Red Bull are facing accusations – reported in Auto Motor und Sport and Gazzetta Dello Sport – that they went beyond that figure, potentially by up to five per cent, which would equate to £7m.

The FIA are assessing Red Bull’s finances with a verdict set to be revealed on Wednesday. Sanctions available to the sporting federation range from financial penalties to a deduction of drivers’ championship points. The latter could have an impact on last season’s result. Hamilton was denied a record eighth crown when he was beaten by Verstappen at a deeply contentious winner-takes-all finale in Abu Dhabi on December 12. Verstappen took the title by eight points.

Speaking on Friday evening, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said he was not aware of any breach. But rival boss Wolff urged the FIA, and its president Mohammed ben Sulayem – elected in the days after the Abu Dhabi fiasco – to follow the rules.

Toto Wolff urges FIA to enforce regulations over reported Red Bull budget breach

F1 news: Toto Wolff labelled ‘sore loser’ for Red Bull accusations over budget cap

Wednesday 5 October 2022 10:58 , Kieran Jackson

Ex-Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher has labelled Toto Wolff a “sore loser” after the Mercedes team principal criticised Red Bull for potentially breaking the budget cap. Wolff hit out at his rivals at the recent Singapore F1 after reports described how Christian Horner’s team broke the cap last year.

The 2021 season saw a controversial end with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen’s snatching the world championship from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in the last few laps. Wolff’s comments has signalled to Schumacher that the team boss is not over the outcome of the season.

“No matter what comes out: for me, Toto Wolff, with his harsh criticism, is rather the sore loser who has not yet digested the fact that he lost the 2021 World Championship,” Schumacher told Sky Germany. “I think that’s a shame. What is clear, however, is that the cost cap must be adhered to. If that wasn’t the case, then of course there must be a penalty.

“The basic structure has definitely been shaken.The FIA has to investigate itself, because it must not and cannot happen that something slips out. What is happening here is only damaging Formula 1 and only the world governing body itself can be to blame.”

Wolff labelled ‘sore loser’ for Red Bull accusations over budget cap

F1 news: Ferrari chief reveals why he believes F1’s ‘credibility is at stake’

Wednesday 5 October 2022 10:38 , Kieran Jackson

Mattia Binotto, team principal at Ferrari, fears that Formula 1’s “credibility is at stake” as the FIA prepares to announce if any teams have breached the budget cap.

Rumours in the last week have suggested that two manufacturers may have exceeded the cost cap limit, with Red Bull and Aston Martin both denying speculation that they had overspent. Mercedes and Ferrari have said that they believe that one team has marginally breached the cap and another by a more significant figure.

The sport’s financial regulations define a minor breach as one less than 5% of the cap, set at $145m (£114m) in 2021, and a material one as more than that. But Binotto is certain that even a minor breach should be taken seriously.

“It’s definitely a shame that we are talking about it in October of the following season, because at this point, apart from implications on last year’s championship, there are also implications for the current one,” the Ferrari team principal told Sky Italia.

“Let’s wait until Wednesday before making a judgement but, whatever amount we are talking about, it’s important to understand that even if it is four million, which falls into the category of what is considered a minor breach, four million is not minor.”

Ferrari chief reveals why he believes F1’s ‘credibility is at stake’

F1 news: Toto Wolff considering unscheduled trip to Japanese GP amid cost-cap row

Wednesday 5 October 2022 10:18 , Kieran Jackson

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is considering an unscheduled trip to Japan this weekend to confront the fallout from the much-anticipated cost cap row that is consuming Formula One.

The FIA is set to reveal on Wednesday if any teams have failed to comply with last season’s £114million budget. Red Bull has faced unproven allegations that they broke the financial rules as they carried Max Verstappen to his championship win over Lewis Hamilton in 2021.

Wolff has called on the FIA to take robust action against any team that overspent. Christian Horner said he is confident Red Bull are not in breach and accused Wolff of “hugely defamatory, fictitious claims”. The Red Bull team principal also threatened legal proceedings against Mercedes during a toxic weekend in Singapore.

The F1 circus now heads to Japan – a destination where Verstappen will take his second consecutive title with four rounds to spare if he wins and sets the fastest lap. In an interview with the PA news agency on Friday night, Wolff said it was his intention not to travel to Suzuka – missing his first race since 2019 and only his second in nine years amid the sport’s demanding schedule. But it is understood the Austrian, 50, could change his travel plans, depending on the FIA’s verdict.

Mercedes boss Wolff considering unscheduled trip to Japanese GP amid cost-cap row

F1 news: Christian Horner threatens legal action over ‘fictitious claims’ from Toto Wolff over budget cap

Wednesday 5 October 2022 09:58 , Kieran Jackson

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has accused rival boss Toto Wolff of “hugely defamatory, fictitious claims” and threatened legal action against Mercedes amid the cheat row overshadowing this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.

In a fiery, and tense press conference on Saturday, Horner insisted he is “absolutely confident” Red Bull did not overspend as Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to last year’s controversial championship.

Horner also suggested the accusations that Red Bull broke F1’s budget cap have been planted to take the spotlight away from Verstappen, who could claim his second title in as many seasons on Sunday. On Friday, Wolff demanded Formula One’s governing FIA takes robust action if Red Bull have broken the rules. Ferrari have also complained publicly.

Responding, Horner said: “We were a little bit taken aback by the comments from our two rival teams. The submissions between the team and the FIA is confidential, and I have no idea what the outcome of our rivals’ submission is so I would be intrigued to know where their source of information for these fictitious claims has come from.

“They are hugely defamatory, and one can only assume that it is not a coincidence that this comes at a point where Max has his first strike at a world championship. We are here talking about cost caps rather than the phenomenal performance Max has had this year. It is an under-hand tactic employed to detract from perhaps a lack of performance on track from our rivals.”

Christian Horner threatens legal action over ‘fictitious claims’ from Toto Wolff

F1 news: What is at stake today?

Wednesday 5 October 2022 09:39 , Kieran Jackson

As much as last year’s unparalleled spectacle in an F1 season for the ages was characterised by Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton’s fierce battles on track, accusations and rebuttals in the paddock from the bosses at centre-stage made for narratives equally as engrossing as the action on the road.

Christian Horner and Toto Wolff were at each other’s throats essentially from Silverstone last July all the way to Abu Dhabi and the controversy that concluded the 2021 melodrama. War of words, bordering on trash talk, epitomised the high-stake nature of what was at play as Red Bull hunted down the Mercedes juggernaut. The impact, in reality, was felt by Michael Masi’s fumbled judgement, which swung the title Verstappen’s way and, if nothing else, had bosses at Netflix salivating at the mouth.

This year, by contrast and amid Red Bull’s domination and Mercedes’ shortcomings, has been tame and timid. Until Singapore this past weekend, that is. Before Friday’s practice sessions at Marina Bay, murmurs of cost-cap breaches quickly spread around the paddock, with two teams rumoured to have fallen foul of F1’s inaugural year of financial measures in 2021: Red Bull and Aston Martin.

Wolff, notably downbeat this year given Mercedes’ race-by-race failings, did not need a second invitation. Like a predator waiting in the shadows, the Mercedes CEO came out firing: “It’s been weeks and months they’re [Red Bull] being investigated, so maybe he [Horner] doesn’t speak to his CFO.”

Wolff went on to emphasise how exceeding the $145m (£114m) budget for 2021 would have a subsequent impact and advantage for this year and beyond. The latest development on Monday suggests Wolff could U-turn on initial plans not to travel to Japan, with the fallout expected to engulf the pit lane in Suzuka later this week with the FIA set to reveal on Wednesday if any teams have failed to comply.

Upon hearing Wolff’s statements – and similar quotes from Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto – a seething Horner came out swinging: “The (comments from other teams) are hugely defamatory and we take umbrage to them. One can only assume it’s not coincidental that this is at a point where Max has his first strike at the world championship.”

Horner insists he is “confident” in Red Bull’s submission. Verstappen also implored rival teams to “keep their mouths shut”. Wishful thinking, it has to be said. Because while all the adulation should be headed the Dutchman’s way, if he wraps up his inevitable second world title this week, instead the focus will be on his team falling foul of the rules should the findings on Wednesday say so.

Red Bull’s reputation on the line as 2021 war of words return to the paddock