Red Bull wallops into Ferrari on penalty

Red Bull responds with a wallop at Ferrari on its “too light” penalty accusation against the Milton Keynes based team. As might be expected, Red Bull’s team boss does not entirely agree with his Ferrari counterpart about the impact of the penalty imposed on Red Bull for exceeding the Formula 1 cost cap.

Red Bull chief executive Christian Horner has responded to criticism from his Ferrari counterpart Fred Vasseur, who said a few days ago that Red Bull’s penalty for exceeding the cost cap in 2021 was perhaps a little too light.


Since the beginning of the year, the Red Bull team – which was fined $7 million and given a 10 per cent reduction in wind tunnel time for 12 months after being found guilty of overspending in 2021 – has dominated the 2023 season outrageously, with three wins from as many races already.


Ferrari point finger at ‘light’ penalty

In the face of such dominance, Ferrari’s chief executive has been quick to shout that the penalty handed down to Red Bull is too light: “I’m still convinced that the penalty was very light,” the Frenchman told Sky Sports.

“Considering that we will improve [the car’s performance] by just under a second over the season in terms of aero, and you get a penalty of 10% of that, that’s one tenth, that’s 0.1s.”

“As it’s not a linear progression, it’s probably less, and as you’re allowed to spend that money elsewhere, on weight gain and so on, for me the penalty is too marginal.” he insisted.

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Red Bull exceeds cost cap

After admitting a “minor” violation after exceeding the $145 million spending limit for 2021 by $2.2 million, Red Bull was fined $7 million in October 2022 and had its wind tunnel time reduced by 10 percent for a 12-month period.

The FIA conceded that Red Bull would only have been $0.5 million over budget if a tax credit had been applied correctly.

“There is no accusation or evidence that Red Bull has sought at any time to act in bad faith, dishonestly or in a fraudulent manner, nor has it wilfully concealed any information from the Cost Cap Administration,” read an FIA statement.


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Red Bull responds to Ferrari

Asked about Fred Vasseur’s comments, Christian Horner said that the Scuderia Ferrari boss’s assertions were perhaps a little premature, not least because – in his view – the impact of the penalty will be seen later in the season and next year.

“Everyone has an opinion, and I think everyone is free to have their own opinion,” Christian Horner told Sky Sports of his Ferrari counterpart’s comments.

“The team has done a great job this winter on the wind tunnel time we have had to develop this car. But of course that will have an impact later in the year and next year.”

“So, on a three-race snapshot, I think it’s still extremely premature, because there are still a huge number of races to go.”



Horner believes others will soon catch up

Horner expects the hierarchy to evolve over the next few races of the season, especially as all the teams will start introducing updates to the cars from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix scheduled for the end of April.

“There are many things that can change. We’re hearing about big upgrades for Ferrari and Mercedes as soon as we get back to Europe,” added the British man.

“So we’re certainly not taking anything for granted. We’re just focusing on ourselves, doing the best we can within the limitations we have.”


“We’re doing the best we can and we know it’s a tough penalty, it’s a penalty we’re taking under our chin and we’re applying ourselves in the best way possible.”

Ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Red Bull leads the constructors’ world championship with 123 points from three races, 97 points ahead of Scuderia Ferrari currently fourth behind Mercedes and Aston Martin.

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2 responses to “Red Bull wallops into Ferrari on penalty

  1. And we still don’t know the details of transgression of the rules by Ferrari in 2019, nor the details of the confidential penalty they received. If you live in glass houses.

  2. Vasseur is just throwing up a smokescreen to try and hide the fact that Ferrari have had an abysmal start to the season.

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