Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto responded to claims that Red Bull will be bringing a new lightweight chassis in the coming races saying he would be surprised as such a feat is not possible under the budget cap.
Formula 1 has been operating under a budget cap since last season, when all teams have been required to operate with a $145-Million budget, that was then reduced to $140-Million in 2022.
However, since the start of the season Red Bull and Ferrari have had different approaches in developing their cars, he former continuously bringing new bits and pieces, while Ferrari focusing on more substantial upgrade packages.
At the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix, Red Bull were in imperious form, as their RB18 was in a league of its own, especially in the hand of Max Verstappen who won the race over 17s ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez, having starting 13th after a power unit penalty – he was the fastest in qualifying.
There were rumors circulating around the paddock in Belgium that the reason behind Red Bull’s form was a new lightweight chassis, something team boss Christian Horner refuted that suggestion claiming the RB18 in Beglium was identical to the one that ran in Hungary before the summer break before adding that: “These chassis will run for the next few races.”
Budget cap always a concern
However, reports claim Red Bull will still introduce a new chassis for the Singapore Grand Prix, something that has Mattia Binotto puzzled, especially when there is a cost to operate within.
“I cannot know what they are doing, if they’ve got a lighter chassis or not,” Binotto responded when faced with the matter. “But generally speaking the budget cap is always a concern – I think we already mentioned it through the season.
“Now we’ve got the technical, sporting and financial regulations, which can make a difference between teams in the way that they are interpreting and executing it.
“We know that we need to have a very strong FIA to make sure that they are properly focusing. Otherwise, the regulation itself will not be fair and equitable.
Ferrari cannot make a new chassis within the season
“I cannot judge on the Red Bull but as Ferrari, we will never be capable of introducing a lightweight chassis or a different chassis through the season simply for budget cap.
“And I would be very surprised if there’s a team capable of doing that,” the Ferrari chief claimed.
Binotto warned that if Red Bull pull off such a feat, then there may be doubts on the manner in which the FIA are policing the regulations, not to mention doubts in the fairness of the regulation itself.
“If they are, again, it’s back to the regulation itself. Is it fair enough? Is it equitable enough? Is the policing sufficient That’s the big question mark.
“It’s a very green regulation at the moment, the number of people in the FIA monitoring it is very little, so it has to improve for the future.
“Because it would be bad if a championship somehow is dictated by the financial regulations and not the technical or sporting [rules],” the Swiss-born Italian warned.
Ferrari are currently second in the Constructors’ Standings, 118 points behind Red Bull, but only 41 points ahead of Mercedes in third.