Toto Wolff Christian Horner Mercedes Red Bull
2NK0KPC (L to R): Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director and Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal in the FIA Press Conference. 23.02.2023. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day One. Photo credit should read: XPB/Press Association Images.

Mercedes and Red Bull are two F1 teams facing very different phases of success and failure at present. There is one team struggling to win their first race in the current season. On the other hand, another team cannot stop winning and is on its way to winning every race in 2023. Red Bull has already won nine from nine Grands Prix so far. Consecutively, the Austrian team has won ten races, stretching to the last season. The current record for most consecutive race wins in F1 belongs to McLaren in 1988 with 11 races. But looks like Red Bull will likely break that record this year.

On the other hand, Mercedes just wants to get back to winning ways. It has been too long for the most successful racer in Formula One, Lewis Hamilton, to secure a win. It was the 2021 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix, where Hamilton’s 103rd win came. But that was it, as Hamilton remains winless due to a poor car since last season. Mercedes got only one race win in Brazil last year and none so far this year. Despite being so different, both the powerhouses are looking to keep in check with their cost cap. The FIA has introduced TD45, a new directive to audit every team in Formula One. But the experts and fans are wondering if they fail to maintain these upgrades within the cost cap limit. Amid these, both the bosses, Toto Wolff and Christian Horner, have revealed how they are complying with FIA’s rules and auditing.


Mercedes Say They Are An Open Book

Toto Wolff Mercedes
Toto Wolff Mercedes Source: Daily Express

Both teams’ finance departments are reportedly providing their cost cap audit check. Toto Wolff and Christian Horner believe that they have done a great job of adding upgrades and stuff within the budget limit. The FIA recently introduced a technical directive called TD45. This new directive aims to measure all kinds of non-F1 projects of the F1 teams as per as IP information regarding any possible cost cap breach. Apparently, the technical director of Mercedes, James Allison, has been involved outside F1 with America’s sailing competition. And according to Toto Wolff, Mercedes has one entity that works in America’s Cup, and it is a big activity for their non-F1 customers.

Wolff told that they had not added any subsidiaries or launched a new company. There are no cross-shareholdings either. Hence, they have everything on the table. But he feels that other teams have exploited the loopholes. Although the Mercedes boss praised FIA’s work in terms of auditing the teams. Mercedes is apparently looking for fast improvements to the W14 car to catch up with Red Bull faster. But things are going very slowly for them. That is why they are planning to add new upgrades to the car even before the summer break. There might be more plans for upgrades when F1 resumes after the summer break.

Red Bull Suggests They Have Nothing To Hide Either

Christian Horner
Christian Horner

Reportedly, Adrian Newey of Red Bull has been working outside F1 too. Hence, TD45 will monitor such activities of all F1 teams and will make them not cross the cost cap. But Red Bull Boss Christian Horner suggested that regarding compliance, they have a huge amount of processes in place as an organization. Horner says that it becomes more clear when regulations like TD45 get regulatory. He mentioned in the early days, it was hard because of the ambiguity of the new set of rules. But with the maturity of the regulations, it gets even more straightforward. Moreover, Christian Horner states that Red Bull did not have to make any changes because of TD45.

Even though Red Bull is having a great successful time, they cannot forget about the cost cap limit. Moreover, they had to face a lot of embarrassment last year due to breaching the cost cap in the previous year. On top of that, they had to pay a fine as penalty of $7 million and a 10% reduction in the wind tunnel. Hence, the team’s budget and aerodynamics got a heavy blow. The current table toppers would not like to repeat that when everything is going right for them. They would not want to jinx it.