Red Bull: Up to six teams could overspend 2022 budget cap!

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Helmut Marko believes F1 hasn’t heard the last of the sport’s budget cap chronicles, with Red Bull now projecting that up to six teams may have overspent in 2022.

The Milton Keynes-based outfit was the first team to be found in breach of F1’s mandatory 2021 $145 million, a transgression for which it was fined $7 million and handed a 10% reduction of its aerodynamic development hours.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff reckoned that the sanction and the reputational damage suffered by Red Bull would act as a strong deterrent for teams tempted to overrun this season’s $140 million cost cap.

But Marko argues that global inflation and a never-ending rise in energy costs - both of which were not factored into 2022 budget twelve months ago - will have likely pushed several teams over the brink this year, in spite of a 3.1% raise of this season’s cap that was authorized by F1 last summer to help teams deal with this year’s extraordinary price hikes.

"I think the current situation is that six teams are above it," Marko told Auto Motor Und Sport. "Inflation is something that was not calculable to that extent. Especially with energy costs."

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner echoed Marko’s prediction but insists his team’s accounts will come in below the $140 million threshold.

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However, the Briton wonders what sort of sanctions will be imposed on team’s breaching the cap based on Red Bull’s own punishment.

"The danger for 2022 is that there could be six teams in breach of the cap. Energy prices have been exponential," Horner said.

"There is that chance that several teams, many of which have stated it during Formula One commission meetings, will break the cap this year.

"We do not believe that we will break the cap in 2022, but these penalties set a precedent for the future. So, if you get 10% for 0.3% breach, what is the 5% Breach going to look like?"

The purpose of F1’s budget cap when it was introduced in 2021 was to rein in development costs which in turn would help level the sport’s playing field.

However, Marko hasn’t seen a significant reduction in the scale of Red Bull’s in-season development.

"So far, the budget cap has not changed anything at all,” explained the Austrian. “Why should it be different in the future? You simply have to develop better," he added.

"Of course, we are affected by the fact that we already have fewer wind tunnel hours because we won the Constructors' Championship.

"Now we have to get every test right. But in the end, it always depends on the quality of the staff."

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