F1 – “Hypocrisy”, gray zone, secret pact: Between Red Bull and Mercedes, the battle is relaunched

It’s an atmosphere that would almost take us back to the end of the last season. The suspense and the spectacle on the track less. This time, Max Verstappen did not need a miraculous scenario to get his hands on the world crown. But there is, all the same, a certain tension around the United States Grand Prix, pre-penultimate round of the season, where suspicions concerning Red Bull raise much more interest than its chances of winning the title ” builders”.

Earlier this week, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) confirmed what everyone already knew, namely that the Austrian team has indeed exceeded the budget ceiling during the 2021 season. qualified for “minor“this violation of the regulations, since it does not exceed 5% of the cap set at 145 million euros, or around 7 million. Incidentally, Aston Martin has committed a much heavier offense. But it also had the “good idea” not to take the opportunity to win, in 2021 or 2022.

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According to information from RacingNews365.com, Red Bull and the FIA ​​had different interpretations of the regulations on four specific points. And one of them touches very closely on the performance of the single-seater, since it concerns a tax credit obtained on Research and Development costs. Precisely one of the most designated sectors for a Formula 1 team.

Losing the title to Verstappen is pointless

We live in a world of such technical complexityan observed George Russell. If you exceed the limit, you are punished. Whether it’s arriving with 100 grams less fuel, or with a rear wing a millimeter too wide, like Lewis in Brazil last year. You are disqualified and punished accordingly.” Unsurprisingly, Mercedes and all of its most influential members hastened to press where it hurts.

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In reality, no one imagines that Max Verstappen is stripped of one or the other of his two crowns. This would directly challenge the creation of this sport among the general public, which F1 is also trying to expand. No, for the “Top Teams”, the past is not important. It no longer brings anything. While the future, he…

The interest is rather to know how it will happen in the futurerightly admitted Toto Wolff, boss of Mercedes. How strong are these regulations? How are they applied and monitored?The Austrian leader’s speech, otherwise similar to that of his Scuderia counterpart, Mattia Binotto, is well oiled.

This is also how F1 works

Because that is the essence of F1: discovering what makes the other stronger. Ensure that he is sanctioned if he has acted illegally – hence the importance of putting pressure on the FIA ​​and its new president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, in search of authority. Or get the same benefit if it’s a gray area.

I don’t remember a champion team that was not exploited an element that surprised the other teamsrecalled Fernando Alonso’s experiment. Brawn, Red Bull in 2012, Mercedes during its period of dominance, and even Ferrari in 2019. Everyone is playing with fire.”

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I read the reactions of our rivals in the press and all this hypocrisy makes me laughadded Max Verstappen with his usual outspokenness. They are asking for sanctions because we are doing very well this year. The goal is to slow us down in any way possible. But that’s also how F1 works.”

The Dutchman is well placed to know. In 2019, he was one of the first to publicly accuse Ferrari of cheating. The suspicions had led the FIA ​​to conclude a secret sanctions pact with the Scuderia, the sporting consequences of which had been very heavy in 2020. This is surely the reason why Red Bull would avoid entering into a similar deal with the body.

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