Toto Wolff gives his first response to the Red Bull fine with a revealing comment
Toto Wolff has claimed that Red Bull has suffered “reputational damage” as a result of breaking F1’s cost cap. Wolff stressed that breaking the rules was “not allowed” due to the transparency around F1.
He made the comments when asked by Martin Brundle if other teams would consider breaking the cap because of the minor penalty. However, he responded to the suggestion, claiming that it would not be a “business case” due to the problems he could cause.
He said: “I think what you see goes beyond a sporting ban and a financial fine, it’s also reputational damage. In a world of transparency and good governance, that no longer exists. When it comes to compliance, whatever team you’re on, you’re responsible for representing a brand, its employees, its partners.
“That’s why it wouldn’t be a business case for us.” Red Bull has been hit with a 10 per cent reduction in wind tunnel and CFD testing for next season.
READ MORE: Horner demands ‘apology’ from rivals as Red Bull boss fires back
This is likely to have a big impact on Max Verstappen’s title bid as Red Bull will have fewer opportunities to test the upgrades. Team boss Christian Horner suggested the penalty was a “draconian” measure that could have an impact of around half a second per lap.
Horner refused to apologize for violating the limit, and instead hit back at opposing teams for damaging the team’s name. McLaren boss Zak Brown suggested Red Bull was “cheating” by breaking the limit in an open letter ahead of the United States Grand Prix.
Speaking ahead of FP1 in Mexico, Horner explained: “I don’t feel like we should apologize. I think there are lessons to learn. Everyone can learn from this. We have taken a very public beating through the accusations that have been made by other teams. Our drivers have been booed on the circuits.
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“The reputational damage from the allegations has been significant. Now is the time for that to stop and move on.” Red Bull was found guilty of a minor cost cap breach after the Japanese Grand Prix.
The FIA revealed today that the amount of the title was £1.8 million ($2.2 million), but this drops to just £432,000 ($0.5 million) if a tax error is corrected. Wolff added: “I know how rigorous they were with us throughout the year. That was a difficult process. When I’m looking at 13 positions that were wrong, it wasn’t like that with us.
“In general, it’s good to see there is a penalty, whether we consider it too low or too high.”
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