FIA reveal Red Bull cost cap breach penalty

Since the FIA leaked the fact that Red Bull Racing had breached the 2021 cost cap during the run up to the Singapore GP weekend,. The paddock has been a frenzied rumour mill about how much the overspend was. $10m was the first number published by Germany’s AMuS.

Christian Horner alluded to the “disputed amount with the FIA” being a “couple of hundred thousand dollars” during interviews at the US GP. 



FIA actions over cost cap criticised

The new financial regulations appear to have been poorly written and the administration of them by the FIA has also been heavily criticised.

Once found to be in a minor breach – less than $7.25m – the range of penalties ranged from a small reprimand to exclusion from F1 events. This clearly needs to be better categorised.

Once the minor breach was announced the FIA and Red Bull entered a consultation period designed to agree a punishment and conclude the matter. However, the team did have the right to extend this for further review and even a length delay while they applied to the International Court of Appeal over the matter.



An agreement over the penalty reached

It appears for the benefit of the FIA and Formula One’s reputation, Red Bull Racing have decided to play call and the ‘white smoke’ appeared in the last 30 minutes from the conclave.

Red Bull in an “Accepted Breach Agreement” have accepted a $7m fine and a 10% reduction in aerodynamic testing for 2023.

Red Bull have been hit with a $7m fine and a 10 percent reduction in aero testing for 2023 as punishment for breaking F1’s cost cap regulations. 

The full amount of the Red Bull breach was $2.2m however the FIA agreed if a tax credit had been properly applied this would have been just $0.5m which an FIA statement states by be just 0.37%.



FIA statement

“Red Bull Racing was found to be in breach, however, the Cost Cap Administration recognised that Red Bull Racing has acted cooperatively throughout the review process and has sought to provide additional information and evidence when requested in a timely manner, that this is the first year of the full application of the Financial Regulations and that there is no accusation or evidence that RBR has sought at any time to act in bad faith, dishonestly or in fraudulent manner, nor has it wilfully concealed any information from the Cost Cap Administration,” read an FIA statement. 

The proposed settlement was made by the FIA at the US GP last weekend, but was put on hold following the death of Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz.

To follow is the response from other team bosses, some of whom have slated the Milton Keynes based outfit describing their actions as “cheating”.



Red Bull pain

Some F1 observers may believe Red Bull have gotten off lightly given the fine will not reduce their allowable spending in the future. Yet having clinched the constructors’ title Red Bull were already facing reduced aerodynamic testing time for next season.

The FIA regulates for a maximum amount of aero testing time each year but the teams are handicapped depending on where they finish.

Red Bull as champions are already allowed just 70% of the maximum allowable time. If Ferrari finish in P2 they will receive 75% and Mercedes 80%. By deducting another 10% of Red Bull’s allowable time (70%) this in fact reduces their aero testing to 63% of the regulated maximum by the FIA.

So in reality Mercedes will have a 27% more aero testing time than their arch rivals Red Bull. Yet despite whether this is enough to redesign the woeful W13 is yet to be seen.

The testing reduction is applied for 12 months from the date the Agreed Breach Agreement is executed and so will hurt Red Bull for a full tale months.



Comment already incoming

“So it’s an overspend for Red Bull of 0.37%, but an overspend is still an overspend however large or small, surely a benefit must be derived from that overspend. Scrap the minor or major breach nonsense in the future & 10% wind tunnel reduction? Is that really a strong deterrent?” says Sky F1 commentator David Croft.

F1 commentator Will Buxton adds, “While the headline is £1.86m I think it’s interesting to note that had RBR correctly applied its tax credit its overspend was actually £432k or 0.37%. As such is a $7m fine and 10% development time penalty large enough to deter future breaches?”


READ MORE: Mercedes ‘illegal’ upgrade row


9 responses to “FIA reveal Red Bull cost cap breach penalty

  1. I feel Red bull got off very lightly with this fine and -10%. What a joke considering they have gained from the overspend over two years. They should have had 30 % reduction and points stripped and a fine . Itakes a mockery of the whole system and the rest of the teams that kept inside the cap .
    Once again they get the help from the FIA . I’m afraid for me the sport Is loosing it. Nor sure I will watch 2023 .

  2. It seems fair and equatable considering all the facts as they are laid out. Time to move on.

  3. HAHAHAHA…. the entitled little brat and his pet toto got what they deserve…… NOTHING! 😂😂😂😂🤣🤣

  4. Redbull have 70% of the full wind tunnel time next season, minus the extra 10% taken for this penalty is surely 60% wind tunnel time? Not 63% as stated. What am I missing here??

  5. The charade carried out by Wolff is brilliant. (1) He gets inside information from his mole in FIA about Red Bull’s minor overspend. (2) He leaks this information to the pliant German publication, AMuS. (3) AMuS then conducts a sham interview with Wolff in which he makes irresponsible statements about a “massive” overspend, igniting a controversy. (4) When asked about his access to the supposedly secret information, he wriggles out by saying he was only answering questions from AMuS and that his answers were of a general nature.
    (5) Having thus incited Hamilton’s fans, he insinuates “cheating” by Red Bull which becomes a loud and incessant chorus, to put pressure on FIA. (6) He gets his slave team McLaren and Zak Brown to continue the attack, which Binotto joins in for very obvious trasons.
    (7) Meanwhile, he innocently declares that Verstappen’s titles should not be taken away, all the while instigating FIA to do exactly that.

    Are we, the neutral fans, disgusted with Wolff? Nothing new as this is what he has been doing for 8 years and more. And it is unlikely to change anytime soon. As long as there was no challenge, his bilge remained in the gutters. Soon as MB’s and Hamilton’s position was threatened, it overflowed on to our path.

    Let us brace ourselves for lots more of this cowpile from Wolff. Hamilton, who drills your ears constantly with jokes that he wants to be known as the most sporting driver, the cleanest driver etc. will only be adding fuel to the fire as it benefits his quest for more undeserved titles. The Hamfosi who are still bristling from Turn 5 at AD, will get their money’s worth by yelling “cheat” and “slap on the wrist” for the foreseeable future.

    • You’re very clearly not neutral. Anyone could have tipped Mercedes, knowing that they’d go after it like a dog with a bone whilst they sit in the background not looking stupid. There’s not only last season’s title at stake but the integrity of the championship.
      We can all be cynical of the FIA’s findings or jump to conclusions about who started this (yes, motive would point to Mercedes but we don’t know it was them).

  6. Everyone is focused on the cost cap breach while no one is talking about rules being interpreted differently.

    When Max tried to overtake Lewis in Saudi and was run wide and took the escape route, he was forced to give the position back, which he did.

    When Lewis tried to defend and was forced wide and took the escape route, he is not required to give up the position but just time advantage gained, which he obviously didn’t.

    I believe, FIA need to bring back the drive through penalty for collisions, which should not be part of scheduled pit stops, that’s the appropriate penalty instead of the cheap 5 seconds which Mercedes would gladly accept like they did in Brazil, Hungary, Britain and other places. Drive through penalty is a must for future fair play, drivers will think twice before getting too aggressive.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.