Williams chief clarifies Red Bull error which almost cost world title

Hamilton spills more on his F1 future as he makes "no limit" claim

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Williams CEO and team principal Jost Capito has clarified how part of Red Bull’s controversial 2021 budget breach might have actually been down to sandwiches. Red Bull argued their extra spending in Max Verstappen’s first title-winning year was down to non-sporting expenses, such as canteen food, before the FIA made its judgement.

The newly-crowned constructors’ champions exceeded their 2021 spending limit by over £1.9million, cut to £377,000 by an unclaimed tax credit. The FIA handed them a £6.1m fine and a 10 per cent reduction in their wind tunnel and CFD development quota after publishing a 13-point list of cost-cap violations.

Red Bull’s decision to put it down to canteen food at the team factory like sandwiches was originally ridiculed. However, Capito has come out in defence of Christian Horner and Co., revealing the bizarre reason why there may have been mistakes when calculating such costs.

He said: “It’s tricky. For example, if the team eat in the [paddock] hospitality for the evening, it falls under the cost cap. If they eat outside in a restaurant, it does not fall under the cost cap. These are still things that have to be clarified in the regulations.

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“For the team, it is much cheaper, simpler and less complicated if they eat in the hospitality and there is less risk. And yet you can’t do that because then it falls under the cost cap, and if you eat outside, it doesn’t. That is known, and the issues are also worked through, and next year it is a different situation.

“There are modifications where the teams agree and work together on it. And that is certainly necessary. The cost-cap regulations are so complicated you can’t get them 100 per cent right straight away, and I’m sure they will get much better over the years.”

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer came out after Red Bull’s punishment to accept that it ‘fit the crime’ and urge F1 to move on. And Capito has shared his opinion, citing the fact it was the first year with a cost cap as the reason it shouldn’t have been any more severe.

“Yes, I think it’s [the punishment is] okay,” Capito explained. “You have to say it was the first time, the first year of a cost cap. And to argue now whether it should have been a little bit more, a little bit less in the penalty, I don’t think that makes any sense at all. It is what it is now, so there is a precedent, and I think that’s absolutely fine.”

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