Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto is unsure if Red Bull is in compliance with the financial rules this season.
This comes as the first three races of the current season were won by Charles Leclerc as Red Bull struggled to get going and had three reliability issues between Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. Leclerc was topping the drivers’ standings place, and he and his teammate Carlos Sainz had handed the Scuderia a commanding lead in the constructors’ standings.
The Austrian based outfit fought back in Imola with a highly successful upgrade, and as of Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix, they had won nine out of the previous 11 races.
Reigning champion Max Verstappen currently leads Perez by 93 points in the drivers’ standings with Leclerc, who has only won one race since Melbourne, now behind by five points in third. This is due to reliability issues, strategy blunders, and unexpected driver errors, Leclerc and Sainz had recently lost tons of points, but the Belgian Grand Prix seemed to be a completely different story.
Verstappen and Perez were miles ahead of the Ferraris at Spa as they won their fourth one-two of the season, in part due to the Red Bull’s incredible straight-line pace. The Red Bull lead driver won the race by a wide margin despite starting 14th on the grid and posting a pole time that was six tenths of a second faster than Sainz’s P2 time before his grid penalty was issued.
Naturally, Binotto seeks explanations for why his squad is so far behind its competitors in terms of pace. In doing so, he discovers a probable breach of the $145 million budget cap.
“I would be very surprised if that [rate of upgrades] was possible for other teams,” Binotto said. “You have to ask yourself whether the monitoring is sufficient… Unfortunately, only a few people at the FIA keep an eye on it.”
“That has to improve for the future, it would be really bad if the championship is decided by the financial rules,” Binotto demanded that the FIA continue to keep a tight eye on the teams’ spending.
With eight rounds remaining in the 2022 season, Red Bull leads Ferrari by 118 points in the Constructors’ Standings, and the Italian team’s chances of winning the title are all but gone.