The world champion racing team Red Bull has violated the budget cap in Formula 1, but does not have to fear any severe sanctions. The world automobile association FIA announced on Monday that the budget check for the past season at Red Bull revealed “slight additional expenditure”.
In addition, the team of the now two-time world champion Max Verstappen and Aston Martin had problems with the control process.
Deduction of World Cup points threatened
The FIA intends to inform about possible penalties and consequences at a later date. Presumably, Red Bull will be fined. However, it is also possible that the drivers Verstappen and Sergio Perez as well as the team will have World Championship points deducted for the year of the violation. A “public warning”, a reduced budget, the exclusion from one or more sessions or restrictions on tests could theoretically follow.
In a first statement, the team was “surprised and disappointed” with the result of the FIA budget check. They are convinced that they have kept to the financial leeway for “all relevant expenses”, so “we have to examine the FIA report carefully,” it said. It was initially unclear what conclusions Red Bull would draw from the report, keeping “all options open”.
“Unfounded Speculations and Conjectures”
The budget cap is around 150 million dollars (approx. 155 million euros), up to five percent additional expenditure, i.e. around seven million dollars, is considered “minor” according to the definition. Significantly higher expenses would result in more severe penalties.
The budget 2021 issue was the dominant topic of the past few days, with the Mercedes and Ferrari teams, beaten by Red Bull, publicly criticizing several times. Ferrari sports director Laurent Mekies calculated: “7 million, that’s 70 engineers, and 70 engineers bring you a lot of lap times.”
Verstappen’s racing team had repeatedly sharply rejected the speculation about additional spending and even threatened legal action, and the FIA also repeatedly spoke of “unfounded speculation and assumptions”. Actually, there should be clarity on Wednesday, but the FIA could not meet the deadline they had set themselves.