Mika Hakkinen is not surprised by the different interpretation of Red Bull’s cost cap saga, claiming financial regulations always have grey areas.
The Finn, however, seems to be content with how the matter was handled and the fact that it was closed so Formula 1 can move on.
The matter of Red Bull’s breach of the cost cap in 2021 was finalized in Mexico over the course of the grand prix weekend, the team fined $7-Million and having to make do with 10% less time in their wind tunnel over the 12 months to come.
Hakkinen reflected on the matter in his Unibet column; he said: “The first thing to say is that I am glad this matter is now closed and the FIA’s penalty accepted by Red Bull.”
But the 1998 and 1999 F1 Champion insisted that dealing with cost cap regulations is not as straightforward as handing sporting matters in the sport.
Financial and sporting regulations can’t be handled in the same way
He explained: “With technical and sporting regulations you generally have a clear decision, for example if the car is under the weight limit or a driver goes outside the track limits, but with the financial regulations there was always likely to be a grey area.
“I think that is why everyone accepted two levels to breaking the budget cap – a minor or major overspend. The FIA recognised that there could be various levels of overspend and reasons for doing so,” he added.
The Flying Finn is one of those who believe that Red Bull’s fine is not a light one, both financially and sportingly, but hopes other teams will learn form it and refrain from doing similar mistakes in the future.
“Red Bull’s penalty for the minor overspend is still significant,” he claimed. “Far more than the financial or aerodynamic penalty, it has been an uncomfortable experience for the team.
“The good thing is that no team will want to risk repeating this next year, so although it has been a very difficult and controversial moment for Red Bull, I believe it will benefit F1 in the long term because every team boss will be determined not to have this kind of negative publicity in future,” the 54-year-old concluded.