OCTOBER 14, 2022
Nonsense that Verstappen will lose F1 title says Marko
Dr Helmut Marko says it's "nonsense" that Max Verstappen might lose his 2021 world championship over the budget cap scandal.
Red Bull has been found by the FIA to have broken last year's budget limit by less than 5 percent.
"I don't want to say too much," Dr Helmut Marko told f1-insider.
"Just that we still believe that we didn't break the cost cap rule at all. Discussions with the FIA are ongoing. Let's see what finally comes out of it."
It is clear that top team rivals Mercedes and Ferrari are pushing hard for significant penalties that go beyond a mere fine.
"I believe that looking at the result of a world championship after the battles on the track and the ceremonies and celebrations is difficult," Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto told eurosport.it.
"But what is evident is that spending more money than the others has a performance advantage that remains in subsequent seasons. So we think a better penalty in addition to the financial one must lead to a slowdown in the development of the car.
"Otherwise, the advantage will remain in subsequent years and we will have to fight without equal means. In my opinion, there must be a penalty that sanctions the capacity for development," the Italian added.
Marko, however, says Red Bull is now in negotiations with the FIA about the nature of the penalty.
"As I said, we are still not aware of any guilt, which is why discussions with the FIA are still ongoing," he said.
"But rumours that Max could lose his world title in 2021, for example, are complete nonsense. The past has shown that even extreme violations of the regulations were punished very mildly by the FIA."
It is believed Marko is referring not only to 2013, when Mercedes was found to have carried out secret Pirelli tyre testing, but also Ferrari's light penalty for using an alleged illegal engine in 2019.
And former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher says the FIA must investigate how details of Red Bull's alleged budget cap breach were leaked to rival teams.
"The ladies and gentlemen of the FIA must now face a detailed investigation of how this is even possible," he said.
"If Red Bull has really broken the rules, it should be proportionately punished. But what the FIA did there doesn't work at all.
"Imagine if the ministry of finance kept certain companies up to date with the current status of investigations against their competition. That would even be criminal," the German added.
"Everything must be disclosed transparently, and in the event of an offense the ladies or gentlemen of the FIA must be punished accordingly."