Christian Horner called out over constant FIA complaints as Mercedes point made

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Jacques Villeneuve has hit out at Red Bull chief Christian Horner and other critics of a budget cap. The former Formula One driver has told dissenting voices within the sport to stop complaining as they signed up to the rules. 

Teams must spend within the £114million ($140m) budget cap, which only includes a couple of exclusions such as drivers’ salaries. Ferrari have already said that they will struggle to spend within the limits this year, while Horner has sensationally claimed that some teams will need to miss Grands Prix. 

But Villeneuve slammed in Formule 1 Magazine: “They have to fix up their car. But everyone has agreed and signed for it. And if flying costs more, it costs more for all teams. Then you only develop a little less.

“You agreed and then you don’t back down. The smaller teams don’t even get it, so why should they accept it. Alpine is a big manufacturer, has enough money but also sticks to it. Because they play by the rules and they are still competitive too.”

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“I suspect they have already decided before the season that they will look for ways to increase it. But for now they have to stick to it, but what is the punishment if they do go over it? I don’t know. A financial punishment doesn’t work, they just swallow it. 

“Decreasing points hurts even more. If they had to give money to the others as punishment, that would make it interesting.

You’re in business to win and make money. That is the case with everything, that is life. And if you can bend the rules in such a way that you benefit from them, good on you.“

Horner has previously said the FIA need to look at increasing the cap, or getting rid of it altogether, because some teams will need to miss Grands Prix this year. The Red Bull chief said: “I think we need the FIA to address the inflationary issue. Probably about seven of the teams probably need to miss the last four races to come within the cap this year, from the consensus that there has been up and down the paddock.

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“It’s not just about the big teams now, it’s teams in the middle of the field that are really struggling with the inflationary rate that we’re seeing that could even get worse in the second half of the year.

“I think the FIA have a duty of care in a situation like this. I know they’re taking it very seriously because as I say, you’d almost be at the point where I think for certain teams, from numbers that were presented earlier in the [Spanish GP] week, that they would have to miss a few grands prix to even get anywhere near the numbers.” 

Villenueve also recently called out Mercedes given their performance struggles due to porpoising. He said other teams who have developed their car with better success should not be punished by proposed rule changes, saying: “I am less impressed with Toto Wolff and his campaign. They have always done everything they can to maintain their advantage in recent years. 

“Now they have built a bad car and that is their problem, not the FIA’s. Other teams have solved it too, why should they be punished with a possible rule change?”

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