Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo, Circuit of the Americas, 2022

Red Bull need penalty that “really hurts them” if they exceeded budget cap – Bottas

2022 United States Grand Prix

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The FIA should issue a “strict and harsh penalty” to Red Bull if the team did exceed the budget cap last season, says Valtteri Bottas.

Now an Alfa Romeo driver, Bottas raced for Mercedes last year when the team fought Red Bull in both championships until the final round. Although Mercedes won the constructors’ crown, Bottas’s team mate Lewis Hamilton lost the drivers’ title to Max Verstappen by eight points in a controversial finale.

Last week the FIA announced it had found Red Bull exceeded the 2021 budget cap by a “minor” amount – which could be anything up to $7.25 million – and also committed a “procedural” breach of the rules. Red Bull has continued to insist it did not overspend.

Bottas believes if had Red Bull have overspent, they should be penalised severely. “I feel like the rules are the rules and if you don’t follow them, there should be a penalty that really hurts,” he said.

He pointed out teams need to be discouraged from exceeding the budget cap in one year in order to gain an advantage in subsequent seasons.

“You don’t want anyone to have the appetite to maximise something for one year and risk it with the budget cap,” he said. “I personally hope that it’s going to be a strict and harsh penalty because that shouldn’t happen. The rules are the rules.

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“There’s many rules in F1 and it should [not] be any different in terms of penalties. Let’s hope so that it’s a good penalty that really, really hurts them because I was in the fight last year for the constructors, yes we got that, but we missed the drivers’ title by a few points and a few millions can make a big, big difference.”

Verstappen has already won this year’s title again and Red Bull can clinch the constructors championship this weekend. Carlos Sainz Jnr, from their closest rivals Ferrari, said teams want “clarity, first of all, and second fairness” over the budget cap question.

“We all know how much one, two, three, four – I don’t know what’s the number – million can make to car development and car speed in Formula 1. That’s why, years ago, the top three teams were spending 350 million and now we’re spending 150 to keep these things under control.”

He also believes a strong penalty is needed to ensure F1’s Financial Regulations carry real weight.

“I just hope that if there’s a penalty the penalty is relatively important to take the appetite away from overspending two or three million on next year’s car because you think next year’s car is worth it more than the other year and then you take a penalty for it.

“I just think it needs to be fair play for everyone and if there’s a cost cap it’s there to be followed and I just hope that the FIA takes the right decisions to make sure that everyone follows it.”

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2022 United States Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

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13 comments on “Red Bull need penalty that “really hurts them” if they exceeded budget cap – Bottas”

  1. “But we missed the drivers’ title by a few points….”

    Ummmm no buddy. You missed the drivers title by 169 points.

    1. He’s talking about Hamilton missing the drivers championship last year.

    2. He’s clearly talking about his team mate though, and saying that they as a team missed the drivers title isn’t that unrealistic.

      1. As a team, they won the title. As a driver, he wasn’t even close to a title. Ok, we all know he was just a support-driver and wasn’t there to race Lewis but even so, it’s a bit sad to see a Formula 1 driver talk like that… It’s like he just completely gave up and accepted his role as part of Team LH.

        1. @petebaldwin Even Raikkonen in 2008 said it’s sad ‘we’ missed out on the title right at the end. If someone as uncaring as Kimi can say ‘we’ to mean his teammate, surely Bottas can.

    3. Irrelevant.

  2. Why not just void that year’s championship? A clean shale. Or schist. Or slate.

    Or modify that year’s results so, say, the #11 would be #10. I’d go for that! $ure!

    Or simply proclaim Lewis “Champion For Life”, for ever n ever.

    1. @elchinero he seems to be narcissistic enough to go for that title ‘champion for live’.

      1. How so? please explain and give examples of his narcissistic behavior. To confirm your below surface racism. And yes many will come to your defense. But you have never had to walk in a pair of shoes that was worn by another peraon of colour. So you can deny what i said. But we know and you know too. But you wont admit it.

        1. Let people be sold on you as opposed to you trying to sell yourself

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PA8BZOaTOec

  3. Yeah, like we were waiting to hear what you think of it Valtteri

  4. I couldn’t agree more.

  5. Even the “OFFICIALS” at F1 say it is only a “Minor Breach.” Lewis, Toto, Bottas and Steiner can’t have it both ways. At the 2021 Brit GP Lewis spun out Max, and the repair cost to Red Bull were over $1,000,000! Lewis, Bottas, Toto and Steiner and the other teams were all ok with that one.
    Even in past years, Mercedes reportedly out spent everyone else on engine development. Again Lewis, Toto, Bottas and Steiner said nothing.
    Maybe Lewis and Toto are asking their friends to speak out, before-getting-their-facts-straight.

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