Valtteri Bottas is hoping Red Bull will face a stiff penalty after the FIA found the Milton Keynes-based team had exceeded the cost cap in 2021. The former Mercedes driver and team mate to Lewis Hamilton feels the Milton Keynes based team needs to be seriously punished for breaching the cost cap rules, the Finn seemingly mad that Red Bull could wriggle out of any proper penalty.
A few days ago, the Red Bull team was found guilty of a “minor” breach of the cost cap imposed on all grid teams in Formula One in the 2021 season. Red Bull said its accounts were within the $145m budget cap.
The cost cap authority was then asked to determine the appropriate course of action under the financial regulations for the Red Bull team, giving itself a few more days to decide on a possible financial or sporting penalty for Red Bull.
But on Thursday, on the eve of the US Grand Prix, several media sources reported that the FIA has made an offer to the Red Bull team by setting out the terms of an “agreed breach agreement”, meaning that the Milton Keynes-based team could accept that it has done wrong and agrees to follow certain measures that will be taken by the FIA’s cost-cap administration.
The cost cap rules
Formula 1 created the cost cap in a bid to support a financially-sustainable sport, give more teams a chance of success and deliver a more competitive competition.
Set at $145m for 2021, $140m for 2022 and $135m for 2023-2025, but these figures were based on a 21-race season and an inflation uplift was applied earlier this season after a review. It is perhaps this being the reason Red Bull might’ve breached the regulation.
All 10 teams had to submit complete documentation for the 2021 season by March 31 this year and if any team has fallen foul of the regulations, they will not be issued with a certificate of compliance and a Cost Cap Adjudication Panel can impose a range of punishments.
Red Bull denies overspend
Meanwhile, Red Bull continues to insist their alleged overspending is for items outside the budget cap. Therefore the team has not broken the rules. It certainly appears that some degree of interpretation of the rules will be argued by the Milton Keynes based squad. Further, it seems that there are questions as to how the FIA cost cap regulatory body found out about an apparent overspend in the first place READ MORE ON THIS STORY.
Bottas not happy
Asked about the Red Bull Racing apparent breach, Valtteri Bottas is among those who want exemplary sanctions against Red Bull to set a precedent:
“The rules are the rules, and if you don’t follow them, there should be a penalty that really hurts,” the Alfa Romeo driver said in Austin on Thursday.
“Personally, I hope it will be a strict and severe penalty because it shouldn’t happen, the rules are the rules. There are a lot of rules in F1 and it shouldn’t be any different in terms of penalty. Hopefully it’s a good penalty that really hurts them because I was in the fight last year [at Mercedes] for the constructors’ championship.”
“We missed out on the drivers’ title by a few points, and a few million can make a big difference,” Bottas concluded.