F1 legend Nico Rosberg has piled pressure on the FIA to make the right decision over Red Bull’s cost cap breach with the newly-crowned constructors’ champions still waiting to formally receive their punishment. The German claims that the situation is particularly tough due to the nature of last year’s world title battle, which saw Lewis Hamilton narrowly lose out to Max Verstappen.
Red Bull were found to have breached the £114million spending cap in 2021, which was introduced by the FIA to make the sport more financially sustainable and give smaller teams a better chance of competing with the grid’s heavyweights.
Being found guilty of a minor offence could mean an overspend of anything up to £5.7m, although team principal Christian Horner claims that it is a significantly smaller amount. When quizzed on the saga, 2016 world champion and former Mercedes star Rosberg called on the FIA to tread the ‘fine line’, with the situation made ‘horrible’ by Hamilton’s painful 2021 defeat.
“We don’t have all the details on how it was breached and certainly that’s relevant,” he told Any Driven Monday. “What was done with the extra money that was used? Was it to buy sandwiches? Or was it to develop the car with one extra upgrade?
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“It’s so difficult to judge it from the outside and that needs to be taken into consideration. I think it’s best that we have to wait and be patient. For the FIA, it’s really a lose-lose situation.
“If they take points away for last year’s Championship, that would be really bad for everybody. But if [Red Bull] did a serious cost cap breach and it really gave them a performance advantage – if they don’t go in hard and aggressive then it’s another lose-lose. I hope that the FIA find the fine line and get it right, we need to wait and see though.
F1 fans were treated to a nostalgic battle between the Dutchman and Hamilton as the Mercedes veteran pounced on a slow Red Bull pit stop and led the race until the closing stages. Verstappen’s relentless pace saw him eat up the ground, however, and prevented the Brit from notching his first win of the year.
“I had to give it everything and I pushed to the limit to come back,” said Verstappen. “This win is definitely dedicated to Dietrich [Mateschitz] and what he has done for everyone. It definitely means a lot to me and the team, he was so important for the whole team and so instrumental.”