Red Bull ‘should have demanded $24 million over FIA-Ferrari deal’

2020 F1 season

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Red Bull should have pursued millions of dollars in prize money in the wake of the FIA’s settlement with Ferrari last week, according to the team’s motorsport consultant Helmut Marko.

The FIA announced last week it had concluded can investigation into the legality of Ferrari’s power unit but would not reveal details of the terms it reached with the Scuderia. Yesterday seven teams including Red Bull issued a strong criticism of the FIA’s handling of the matter.

Marko told German publication Der Spiegel: “The conduct of the FIA is the real scandal.”

Red Bull finished third in the constructors’ championship last year, 87 points behind Ferrari. Formula 1 Management pays teams a share of the sport’s revenues partly based on their championship finishing positions.

Marko believes Red Bull stood to receive more money if Ferrari had been found to have broken the rules.

“We should actually have instructed Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner to demand $24 million in prize money that we would have been awarded for second place in the constructors’ classification, had Ferrari been punished accordingly,” he said.

The seven teams said yesterday they “reserve our rights to seek legal redress within the FIA’s due process and before the competent courts” over the matter.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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47 comments on “Red Bull ‘should have demanded $24 million over FIA-Ferrari deal’”

  1. Has Marko ever lived in the real world?

    I wonder how many times his billionaire boss has nearly facepalmed himself to death after Marko has spoken to the media.

    1. why do you think that? do you disagree with him?

    2. I rarely agree with Marko, but this time he’s not far off… If there was a legality issue, then Ferrari should probably be penalised in terms of points or championship places. Ofcourse this isn’t something that FIA will ever do, penalise Ferrari, but RBR (and Mercedes + others) need to push this matter on, not let it slide because it’s actually a big deal that creates a precedent.

    3. @dale
      The real world? You mean that place where people actually provide arguments?
      Or is that place where, every time Marko speaks, Red Bull is mentioned and Dieter sells more cans. Or do you mean the world of F1, in which Marko has been a player all your life?
      Tell us: What’s your field of expertise other than posting dribble on the internet?

    4. Car passed scrutineering at all events. Besides that it is not like cars don’t run illegal all the time, why do you think cars drive off line to get pick up on their tyres?
      After the first austrian gp max won, an rb mechanic was heard and recorded shouting “max you have to put on more weight”, it was on tv and for everyone to hear on the paddock, it is normal f1

      1. Señor Sjon
        6th March 2020, 10:30

        When you use traction control, it also isn’t illegal all the time, only when accelerating. ;) The same with this fuel sensor cheat system. I still find it wondrous Leclerc got away when the fuel data didn’t work out on the AD grid. Any other team would have been DSQ’ed on the spot or start from pitlane.

  2. RocketTankski
    5th March 2020, 11:43

    This “pay to come second” mentality is ruining the sport. They should be forced to publish every decision in full. If you aren’t cheating then you have nothing to hide.

    1. that’s overly simplistic. there is a significant amount of clandestine development going on in all the teams. their job is to produce the fastest car/engine within the current rules, which obviously means skirting as close as possible to the ‘edge’ of those rules. the mere fact they are in competition with one another means they are not sharing how they go about this. “the innocent have nothing to hide” is beside the point (as well as being a highly sketchy philosophy, but that’s another argument).

      however, the nature of ferrari’s potential engine advantage is that the system was not skirting close to the edge of the rules by some interpretive innovation (a la mercedes DAS), rather it was (supposedly) an innovation that allowed them to break the fuel flow rules. toyota did this in rallying in the early 90s (i forget the detail, but it was something to do with circumventing the restrictor plate that was meant to prevent illegal amounts of air into the turbo – sounds pretty familiar??) and they got banned from the championship. in that sense, i agree that ferrari should release what they did, but it’s politically quite fraught and they will fight any compunction to do so. the FIA have poured petrol on the whole conflagration with their stupid statement, so i guess this will now cause long term resentment.

      1. What Toyota did was to modify one of the clips holding the turbocharger in place so it would allow them to bypass the air restrictor, allowing more air into the engine. What made it worse was that Toyota did not admit how long it had been fitted for, but the investigation suggested it may have been for several years – which was part of the reason why the FIA were so harsh.

  3. DAllein (@)
    5th March 2020, 11:44

    What is happening this year?!?!
    First I agree for the first time ever with Horner, now – with Marko!

    The situation is a total disgrace, and yes – scandal.

    1. Sonny Crockett
      5th March 2020, 12:11

      The FIA really has caused itself a huge problem:

      1) It’s just set a precedent on how it will deal with rule infringements/cheating;
      2) The precedent it has set shows a complete lack of transparency;
      3) If they follow this route in future they are likely to continually receive legal challenges from other teams.

      1. Yep, well said, and their statement today does not seem to reduce any of those problems.

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      5th March 2020, 23:38

      @dallein The suggestion is that the FIA going all out to prove how Ferrari cheated would hurt F1 more than letting Ferrari get away with it.

      In a weird way that does make sense. Something like “Cutting off the nose to spite the face”. I don’t agree with it, but still.

  4. This saga seems to be developing into one of the most intriguing and most controversial controversies of the 2020s which has barely even began! The FIA has backed itself into a corner which it willingly backed itself into, Ferrari on the other hand will be under a microscope from teams, fans and media, together with the FIA. Does Liberty has any say on this?

  5. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    5th March 2020, 11:51

    I suppose he has a point. If Ferrari claimed 2nd in the championship with questionably legal engine then that’s millions worth of prize money that they essentially cheated their way to. Even if they recieve no greater punishment some of that money is arguably owed to Red Bull. To put an end to all of this, Ferrari & the FIA really need to reveal everything that was found as until they do, Ferrari’s reputation is going to be questioned as much as the FIA’s ability to govern the rules.

    1. And that DAS SYSTEM, that legal in 2020 because Mercedes use it and FIA ban it in 2021, need to be skipped because the cheater is Mercedes? …..FIA say,”It is LEGAL.” Helmut Marko says,”It is ILLEGAL.” Toto Wolff ensured DAS system created under FIA ‘nose’ since 2017-2019 and published in 2020. Why Mercedes didn’t open it to public so each teams can copy paste it, so in 2020 we see all cars having DAS system, to make FAIR games? Why Mercedes keep it as SECRET and no one protest, but when Ferrari keep their secret, Mercedes talk about LEGALITY? If FIA think DAS system is LEGAL, but Helmut Marko think it is ILLEGAL, do you think Mercedes need to pay some money also to Red Bull if Mercedes winning the title in 2020?

      1. No, because Mercedes hasn’t use the DAS in race yet, so no undue advantage have been gained from that device yet. Unlike anything that ferrari may have done in the engine last year, DAS is quite public, even if not, so far all we know is that it will be ilegal in 2021 (that was already in the rules), but as of now and provided they don´t change suspension mid race seems to be legal.

      2. F1oSaurus (@)
        5th March 2020, 23:39

        And that DAS SYSTEM, that legal in 2020 because Mercedes use it and FIA ban it in 2021,

        So it’s legal according to the 2020 rules. What’s your problem then?

  6. Bruno Verrari
    5th March 2020, 12:00

    Whatabout compensation for all damages Mad TorpedoMax and TorpedoKvyat did cause Ferrari during the past years? Think before you talk, bitte!!!

    1. Alberto De Jesus
      5th March 2020, 12:20

      Eesh Bruno, this is what you’re going to hang your hat on? No one is going to send another team a bill for racing accidents that’s part of the sport. Crashtappen and the torpedo have wrecked quite a bit but maybe racing point should send fezza a bill for monza? No all the teams want is to make sure the finishing order was correct and any price money’s due are distribuyéndome correctly. If a team is being dishonest they should be dealt with honestly.

    2. What about Sir Crashalot … aka Vettel?

    3. Ah dry banter eh!

    4. Max was the one torpedoed by Vettel last year pal. Also, grow up.

      1. He should keep his only working eye fixed firmly on his own team. This is checkmate, unless evidence is found theories are meaningless, Ferrari are too clever for the rest on engines, to say anything without evidence should be punished. Merc and Red Bull should be punished.

    5. F1oSaurus (@)
      5th March 2020, 23:41

      Leclerc punted Verstappen off in Japan and Vettel punted Verstappen off in Silverstone.

      Vettel alone already crashed into more cars than Maldonado, Kvyat and Grosjean combined over the last few seasons.

  7. He’s doing what every billionaire owner would want their management team to do – challenge a suspicious ruling and attempt to gain every advantage they can…

  8. Other teams noticed it. They flagged it. Then all the sudden Ferrari slowed down. And now, rather than present the findings, they have a back door meeting to symbolically slap them on the wrist. They presumably used it for quite a few races. Jostling the order for every race they presumably used it and recalculating the title is not going to happen. If the other teams get their way, it will be disqualification. And if they did cache fuel, then I would agree with that decision. Because if they did it for that many races, then they cheated not only the other teams, but the championship itself.

  9. For once I completely agree with Marko, and Ferrari should have done the same and asked for compensation between 2010/2014 when RBR had flexible aerodynamics despite passing all the FIA inspections. They got caught though in qualy in the 2014 Abu Dhabi GP and as a result were excluded however they were using flexi wings and were subject to checks by the FIA since 2010.

    1. @tifoso1989 the problem there is that Ferrari went on to introduce their own flexing front wing design in 2011, deciding in the end that it was easier to join Red Bull than to try and beat them (most memorably demonstrated by Massa in 2011 at the Indian GP, where a prototype wing ended up suffering from rather extreme problems with ‘flutter’).

      The problem there, therefore, would be that if Ferrari had tried to claim against Red Bull, Red Bull would have been within their rights to make a counter claim against Ferrari for doing the exact same thing.

  10. We have to remember that its not just Ferrari, the engine was also used by HAAS and Alfa Romeo. All three teams should have their results erased. The main winner being Williams, who would be 1 point ahead of them and jump to 7th in the championship.

    1. Unless whatever they did is not in the engine itself, may be something software related, for example

      1. @JGTorres @emu55 Haas had an engine taken for investigation at the same time as Ferrari’s. The fact they are not mentioned at all in this release implies they were innocent and also cleared of suspicion (as opposed to Ferrari, who were perhaps inadvertently implied to be innocent and under suspicion anyway). Whatever the point of dispute was, definitely isn’t in the engine.

        10th to 9th would still have been still a good jump for Williams.

        1. That’s a point that’s been largely ignored. If Haas and Alfa Romeo weren’t given the same engine as the Ferrari’s were running, Ferrari would be in breach of the regulations as an engine supplier.

          1. Which implies it was auxiliary systems that were under investigation.

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      5th March 2020, 23:42

      @emu55 Only Ferrari clearly showed evidence of cheating on the GPS trace.

  11. Red Bull should have protested the car if they thought it was illegal. They didn’t. They attempted to litigate via the media, and are still doing it. Marko, Horner and Verstappen can say all of the dumb things they want, but that’s not how to get results.

    1. @Gabe Did Red Bull not learn from Racing Point, who gathered necessary evidence, gave a formal protest and pay the €2000 this costs. Red Bull using the media to do it makes them look like cheapskates, which probably wasn’t the plan…

  12. You can’t start penalising people based on belief & suspicion, You have to have evidence & be able to prove that rules were been broken.

    So far there’s been a lot of people saying they had suspicions that Ferrari were doing something against the rules but nobody has been able to prove it & until somebody can then you can’t hand out penalties.

    If Red Bull, Any of the other teams or even fans can come forward with clear evidence that slow Ferrari were breaking the rules then fine, But so far nobody has & the FIA were also not able to find conclusive proof so while we may all have suspicions I don’t think it’s correct to say with certainty that Ferrari were cheating & should be excluded from results or anything as doing so would be incorrect.

    Was the same with the Red Bull flexible wings & floors of a decade ago. Do we go back & take away there 4 championships because everyone ‘knows‘ there wings were against the rules?

    1. @roger-ayles

      Was the same with the Red Bull flexible wings & floors of a decade ago. Do we go back & take away there 4 championships because everyone ‘knows‘ there wings were against the rules

      RBR was excluded from qualifying in the 2014 Abu Dhabi GP which makes it even worse since they have been already subject to checks by the FIA since 2010 and managed to bypass all the inspections season after season. No one back then asked for compensation.

      1. As I recall, Redbull was able to pass all required inspections yet the wings still flexed under load in the straights (as seen via onboard footage). The inspections have since been changed, and involve using heavier weights to test the flexibility of the wings.

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      5th March 2020, 23:49


      You can’t start penalising people based on belief & suspicion,

      Yes you can. If people suddenly have gained a huge amount of money without any legal explanation of how they obtained this money, they are in trouble.

      Ferrari clearly showed on the GPS trace that they were using an extra boost well after the regular boost on other Ferrari engined cars ended.

      So then the onus can realisticly be put on Ferrar to explain how they are able to have that additional boost without cheating. Ferrari couldn’t do that. Plus the FIA didn’t feel a long dragged out mud fight would be beneifical to F1 as a whole. Which prompted the FIA to accept that Ferrari would stop cheating and offer resources to FIA as a form of punitive damages.

    3. Actually, the way the rules are written, Ferrari has to prove their car complies– the FIA has no responsibility to prove it doesn’t, other than conduct the scrutineering tests described in the regulations.

      Kinda wonky, but true.

  13. Red Bull’s plan only works if it is assuming Ferrari is guilty. From the wording of the FIA’s full press release elsewhere on this site, that would be impossible since at no point was proof of breach available. Settlements don’t generally allow guilty verdicts.

    Therefore Red Bull has not, and never had, standing to ask for the extra prize money.

    Credit where it’s due, however: The FIA’s conduct is the real scandal here.

  14. Verstappen beat both Ferrari’s in the drivers points last year but Red Bull didn’t beat Ferrari in the teams points and that is solely because their number two driver did not perform. Ferrari didn’t need to cheat to beat Red Bull in the teams points, Red Bull beat themselves with their poor choice of driver and that is almost certainly Marko’s fault.

    1. @rob91 salty tifoso detected!

  15. If someone took millions off my bank account by cheating, I’d sic my Marko on them just as fast.

    Redbull is a stiff negotiator, and will twist a knife if they need too… I respect them for twisting this knife.

    It’s almost as if Ferrari strong armed the FIA with exit threats if anything becomes of this, so the FIA shifted this to the public sector to let the public take our turn striking Ferrari. This might just be genius. If Ferrari spun off its own racing league because of this, who would join up to compete with cheats?

    1. The Ferrari fans
      Yes, I know we won’t be missed but Liberty is all about that market share value (or something)
      But hey, you’re obviously smarter than all the brains at the FIA combined, I mean based on news articles you have conclusive evidence that months of monitoring by Engineers with sensors couldn’t find, like hundreds of Engineers couldn’t find conclusive proof of cheating but you managed with only a few news articles
      Everytime I see a comment by Xcm, I’ll acknowledge I’m in the presence of a rare genius and I’ll tell myself “This Xcm guy is the smartest being ever, Redbull (Honda) are fools for not paying this guy millions (or at least consulting him)

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