Toto Wolff is ready to break F1 rules
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is supposedly ready to breach the budget cap in future if Red Bull aren't significantly punished for their alleged 2021 overspend, according to extraordinary reports.
The FIA believe that Red Bull are guilty of a 'minor' offence that could total millions, which has riled many in the Mercedes camp after Lewis Hamilton lost a nail-biting title battle last year. FIA confirmed that Red Bull had failed to meet last season's £114 million cost cap after delaying their conclusion, which was originally due to be released last Wednesday.
The specifics are yet to emerge, but a 'minor' breach could signal an overspend of up to £5.7m.
Red Bull are still to receive their punishment and while some Mercedes fans are hoping for a 2021 points reduction that could hand Hamilton the title, the general feeling is that other action, such as a fine, is more likely.
Wolff is supposedly ready to respond with his own budget cap antics if the FIA don't set a strong precedent by dealing with Red Bull.
“Is it a so-called minor breach, because I think the word is probably not, correct?” he said.
“If you’re spending five million more, and you’re still in the minor breach, it still has a big impact on the championship. To give you an idea, we obviously monitor closely which parts are being brought to the track from the top teams every single race – for the 2021 season and the 2022 season.”
“We can see that there are two top teams that are just about the same and there is another team that spends more.”
“We know exactly that we’re spending – three and a half million a year in parts that we bring to the car. So, then you can see what difference it makes to spend another $500,000.”
“It would be a difference.”
Mercedes boss also drew attention to Mercedes’ heavy W13, the car reportedly one of the heaviest on the grid. While Wolff would have happily spent the money to create a lighter chassis, he says Mercedes just didn’t have it within the limits of the cap.
“We haven’t produced lightweight parts for the car in order to bring us down from a double-digit overweight because we simply haven’t got the money,” he said. “So, we need to do it for next year’s car.”
“We can’t homologate a lightweight chassis and bring it in, because it’s just $2 million that we will be over the cap. So, you can see every spend more has a performance advantage.”