The FIA have confirmed that Red Bull exceeded the budget cap during the 2021 season, but said it has only committed a “minor” breach. It also made a “procedural” error in its following of the rules, the FIA said.
The sport’s governing body also found Aston Martin did not fully comply with the regulations, noting they had committed a “procedural” breach, and not overspent.
A third team, Williams, also committed a procedural breach which was reported earlier this year.
The FIA has not indicated how far Red Bull exceeded the spending limit by. Teams were restricted to a maximum expenditure of $145 million last season. The Financial Regulations defines a “minor” breach as being up to 5% over that, meaning Red Bull’s excess spending will be no more than $7.25m.
No sanctions for the breaches committed by Red Bull or Aston Martin have been announced. The matter will be referred to the FIA Cost Cap Administration for a decision.
“Further information will be communicated in compliance with the regulations,” said the FIA in a statement.
The Financial Regulations allow for any combination of six different penalties to teams which commit “minor” breaches. These are a pubic reprimand, deduction of constructors’ or drivers’ championship points, suspension from stages of competitions (excluding races), limitations of aerodynamic or other testing or a further reduction of the cost cap.
Red Bull finished second in the constructors championship last year, while Aston Martin came seventh. Red Bull driver Max Verstappen won the drivers championship by eight points from Lewis Hamilton.
In a statement Red Bull said they reacted with “surprise and disappointment” to the FIA’s decision.
“Our 2021 submission was below the cost cap limit, so we need to carefully review the FIA’s findings as our belief remains that the relevant costs are under the 2021 cost cap amount.
“Despite the conjecture and positioning of others, there is of course a process under the regulations with the FIA which we will respectfully follow while we consider all the options available to us.”
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FIA statement on cost cap
The FIA confirms that its Cost Cap Administration has now completed the review of the Reporting Documentation submitted by each Competitor that participated in the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship in respect of the 2021 Reporting Period ending on 31 December 2021.
The FIA Cost Cap Administration has issued certificates of compliance to seven of the ten Competitors:
- Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team is considered to be in Procedural Breach of the Financial Regulations;
- Oracle Red Bull Racing is considered to be in Procedural and Minor Overspend Breaches of the Financial Regulations; and
- Williams Racing has complied with the Financial Regulations in respect of the 2021 Reporting Period with the exception of a previous Procedural Breach (in regard to which the Cost Cap Administration entered into an ABA with Williams in May 2022. This Procedural Breach was then remediated by Williams in a timely, cooperative and transparent manner).
The review of the Reporting Documentation submitted has been an intensive and thorough process, and all Competitors gave their full support in providing the required information to assess their financial situation during this first year of the Financial Regulations. The FIA Cost Cap Administration notes that all Competitors acted at all times in a spirit of good faith and cooperation throughout the process.
The FIA would also note that with respect to this first year of the application of the Financial Regulations the intervention of the FIA Cost Cap Administration has been limited to reviewing the submissions made by the Competitors and that no full formal investigations were launched.
The FIA Cost Cap Administration is currently determining the appropriate course of action to be taken under the Financial Regulations with respect to Aston Martin and Red Bull and further information will be communicated in compliance with the Regulations.
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