Red Bull was found guilty in October of breaching last year’s cost cap limit. He was fined $7 million and given a 10% reduction in time spent in the wind tunnel as punishment.
Many of Red Bull’s rivals had wanted much tougher penalties, but Sulayem believes the FIA has handled things the right way, especially with cost cap rules in their infancy.
“We’ve learned a lot and there’s a big review going on,” he said, when asked by Autosport if he felt the cost cap penalty imposed was a sufficient deterrent.
“Who knows what the result will be in the first year? We didn’t even expect it.
“If you look at the other teams, they’ll say we’ve been light on them. [Red Bull]. And the penalty? Some of them want to be hanged and they want to see blood. And the [guilty] the teams themselves see it as huge on them. So where are you drawing this?
“I mean, we also have to be fair. Do we want to get rid of them or do we want to straighten them out and not do it?
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18
Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images
One aspect Sulayem wants to see much better covered next year is the timing of cost cap investigations – he suggests it’s not ideal to let things drag on late into the year.
“The only thing I would say is what we did in September/October, it should be done early,” he said. “But like the first year, we learned a lot. And we are still learning. It is therefore better to come in May; not in October.
Sulayem also suggested that the FIA should bolster its staff to help improve policing, both on financial regulation and in other areas.
“The financial settlement was the first year; policing is very difficult,” he added. “And that’s why we also mentioned the employees: three more in the financial aspect, three more in the chassis and the PU. Other recruitments are therefore announced.
“If you don’t have the manpower and the right people to enforce it, what’s the point of having this regulation? I believe there was a balance between the finances and also the sporting penalties there.