Martin Brundle laments budget cap ‘mess’ that is ‘hanging over’ F1

Sam Cooper
Martin Brundle taking part in Sky Sports F1's coverage. Abu Dhabi 2021

Ex-driver turned pundit Martin Brundle taking part in Sky Sports F1's coverage.

Martin Brundle has described the ongoing budget cap situation as a “mess”, saying it is not a good look for the sport.

As the teams descended on the Circuit of The Americas for the United States Grand Prix, much of the pre-race discussion was the same as it had been at the previous race in Japan.

Rumours that Red Bull had overspent have been turned into facts after the FIA confirmed the team had been guilty of a “minor” breach and had not been awarded a compliance certificate.

Since the announcement, which was made on October 10, there has been little word from either Red Bull or the FIA as to how much they overspent or what punishments will be coming their way and many of their rivals have been queuing up to give their opinion.

McLaren’s Zak Brown said Red Bull should receive a sporting penalty as well as a financial one.

It was reported on Thursday the FIA had approached Red Bull with a proposed penalty and the team are rumoured to be holding a press conference on Friday morning in the US.

One man who wants to see the issue resolved sooner rather than later is Martin Brundle, who told Sky Sports F1 the situation was “hanging over” Formula 1.

“It’s a mess all around because we are talking about 2021 of course, not this season,” he said.

“We’ve got some hearsay, we don’t have any facts as to how much Red Bull have overspent, what it means, what the penalty could be.

“It’s described as a minor breach of up to $7million. Clearly, the regulations are not right and they have to be changed because most teams will tell you that’s a season-long development budget.

“The terminology is wrong. A minor breach suggests it’s not of great gravity, so clearly it is.

Red Bull are very sensitive about it. They are saying ‘we think we’re under, they think we’re over, we want to explain why’.

“But of course, everybody’s gone to ground because the process dictates that and it’s just bad for Formula 1 to have this hanging over us.

“Here we are [at COTA] and a magnificent event again, four in five weeks and we are talking about finances from last season.”

Although the situation is currently very messy, Brundle has praised the idea of a budget cap and said it “saves the teams from themselves”.

He added: “We all want it put it to bed and we’ll see what the penalties are. We have to assume there’s some negotiation going on behind the scenes a lot at the moment.

“I actually read the document on the plane yesterday – there’s 54 pages, it’s quite an interesting read.

“It’s quite a well written document, you do need to be an accountant or an auditor to understand some of the terms, but it’s there because we needed to stop the teams just spending themselves into oblivion.

“It’s a really good tool Formula 1 has put together, one of the cornerstones of what we are now doing in Formula 1 to save the teams from themselves.”