Red Bull has been found guilty of Cost Cap Breach. The Formula 1 outfit from Milton Keynes has been penalized $7M in fines and 10% of wind tunnel time. The FIA passed its judgment today, releasing the numbers that the Red Bull team went over in their cost cap breach. The total spending sum of Red Bull exceeds $2.2M over the stipulated amount of $145M.
The Red Bull team reached an accepted breach agreement (ABA) with the FIA a few days ago. The deal meant that Red Bull would quietly take the punishment given by the FIA if they were found guilty. Challenging the FIA’s decision or not accepting it would have meant that greater scrutiny would have been made on Red Bull’s spending budget. If found guilty, Red Bull would have been given harsher punishments by the FIA.
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In a statement, the FIA said: “There is no accusation or evidence that Red Bull has sought at any time to act in bad faith, dishonestly or fraudulently, nor has it willfully concealed any information from the Cost Cap Administration.” The FIA also acknowledged that if a tax credit had been correctly applied, Red Bull would have only been $0.5M over their allocated budget.
After winning the constructors’ championship, Red Bull was poised to receive the least wind tunnel time compared to their rivals. The FIA rules state that the team who wins the constructors championship will receive the least amount of wind tunnel time to give the lower teams a chance to catch up for the next season.
Impact of the 10% less wind time for Red Bull
With their penalty, Red Bull will have 25 runs in their wind tunnel next season instead of their allocated 28. In contrast, the Ferrari team will have 30 runs if they finish second in the championship, and Mercedes will have 32 runs should they end up third, as expected. The constructor in last place has 46 runs which at the moment will be the Williams F1 team.
Christian Horner after the aftermath of Red Bull receiving the penalty
Red Bull’s team Principal, Christian Horner, was expectedly unhappy with the FIA’s verdict. He said that 10% less time in the wind tunnel would mean losing 0.5secs worth of lap time. Horner was adamant that the team didn’t knowingly exceed their budget cap limit. He also said the team didn’t gain any advantage by going over budget. However, the Red Bull team has decided not to appeal and take the punishment. While many F1 pundits and rival groups think that Red Bull got off lightly, Horner disagreed with their views. “I hear people say it’s not a severe penalty, but 10 per cent less wind tunnel time and other aerodynamic tools is a draconian penalty”,: said Horner in an interview.
Aston Martin found guilty of Procedural Breach
The FIA also fined Aston Martin $750,000. The team didn’t go over the limit of their budget cap. They were found guilty of ‘Procedural Breach’ by the FIA. In a statement passed by FIA, it read: “AMR GP Limited (“AMR”) was found to be in procedural breach of the Financial Regulations, notwithstanding the fact its Relevant Costs during the 2021 reporting period were under the Cost Cap. However, in the presence of specific circumstances, the Cost Cap Administration offered AMR an Accepted Breach Agreement (“ABA”) to resolve this matter. AMR accepted that offer:”
“The Cost Cap Administration recognized AMR has acted cooperatively and in good faith throughout the review process. It has sought to provide additional information and evidence when requested promptly. This is the first year of the complete application of the Financial Regulations, and there is no accusation or evidence that AMR has sought or obtained any undue advantage due to the breach. Therefore, an ABA dated 25 October 2022 was entered into by and between the Cost Cap Administration and AMR under Article 6.28 of the Financial Regulations”.
This Concludes the cost cap saga
With all being said and done, the good thing is that all the drama regarding the possible sanctions for Red Bull’s cost cap breach is now finally concluded. All teams will focus on finishing the rest of the F1 season on a high and developing the 2023 F1 season cars.