After Max Verstappen confirmed that Red Bull is working on a new chassis that will make their car lighter, Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto questioned whether Formula One’s budget cap is “sufficient.”
Verstappen was asked about reports Red Bull was looking to get rid of some excess weight by building a new chassis after his win at the Belgian Grand Prix, which increased his lead at the top of the driver standings to 93 points ahead of second-placed Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc.
When asked if it was coming, Verstappen told Sky Sports there will be one “later on in the year”, before admitting he does not know “the exact number” when it comes to how much lighter it will make his car.
And Binnotto was shocked by news, stating that Ferrari are unable to do something similar because of the budget cap and suggesting the budget cap needs to be monitored more closely as “only a few people at the FIA keep an eye on it”.
He said: “We could never afford to develop a lightweight chassis – or any other chassis – during the season because the budget doesn’t allow it. I would be very surprised if that were possible for other teams.
“You have to ask yourself whether the monitoring is sufficient. Unfortunately, very few people keep an eye on it at the FIA. That needs to improve for the future. It would be really bad if the championship were decided by the financial rules.”
For Ferrari, Carlos Sainz finished third in Belgium while Leclerc ended up in sixth after he was hit with a post-race five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane which saw him drop behind Fernando Alonso.
Max Verstappen was fastest in qualifying by over 0.6 seconds, and even with a power unit penalty was able to comfortably lead home a Red Bull one-two on Sunday despite starting from 14th on the grid.
Ferrari started on pole with Carlos Sainz but faded to third, and had no answer to Red Bull’s performance at Spa-Francorchamps.
And when asked about his title prospects after the race, Leclerc admitted: “It starts to look very difficult, especially with the pace [Red Bull] have shown this weekend, it’s going to be very, very difficult. But I’ll keep my head down, try to focus race by race and try to do my best.”