Ferrari chief Laurent Mekies has joined Mercedes’ Toto Wolff in pushing for Red Bull Racing’s finances to be investigated in case they have exceeded the cost cap. The Frenchman has demanded transparency from the FIA regarding last season when Max Verstappen lifted the title after a controversial victory on the final day of the season.
Allegations have surfaced that Red Bull’s spending last year surpassed the cap by £114million, though Christian Horner’s team have denied those claims. The FIA are expected to release a statement addressing those claims on Wednesday, where we will learn the punishment imposed on the team if they are found to have overspent.
Though a fine could be deemed the likeliest repercussion for Red Bull to deal with – assuming it is a minor breach – Mekies has called for the FIA to deal with the matter seriously. He told Sky Sports F1: “We take this situation very seriously. We expect resolute action from the FIA. We trust the organisation hundred per cent because it has gained a strong position in recent months.
“We expect severity in this matter and transparency so that we can compete with each other and the same rules apply to everyone.” If Red Bull are found to have breached the competition rules then many will feel that Verstappen’s title victory is tainted, especially given he topped the leaderboard by 7.5 points after winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Mekies continued: “The consequences are huge. We need to establish it first, but then it is important to find out what the consequences have been for 2021, 2022 and even for 2023.” Wolff, too, has not been subtle about the implications of what Red Bull may have done and the overall effect it may have had.
He told Sky Sports F1: “The crucial part is that if you’ve been over in 21 then you’ve been over in 22. That means you have an advantage into 23. So it’s really a cascade of events that can be influential in all of the three championships.