FIA and the Red Bull Formula 1 team will discuss the final verdict on the cost cap breach by Red Bull this weekend. The discussions were to be held on the United States Grand Prix weekend. But, after the news of the sad demise of Red Bull team owner Dietrich Mateschitz, those discussions were put on hold. Red Bull has, on several occasions, vehemently denied any wrongdoings.
Christian Horner especially had to face the brunt of the media questions. On several occasions, he has cleared his team’s stance that they have never knowingly breached the F1 cost cap. The amount Red Bull has spent more than its allocated $145M is unknown to anyone yet.
How much did Red Bull overspend in 2021?
Several Formula 1 news sites have speculated that amount from $1.5M to $7M. These ranges, however, lie within the 1% margin of the amount Red Bull has overspent. The FIA had already defined with the introduction of the cost cap rules what sort of penalties a team can expect if they went over budget. Red Bull said the deadline for an ‘accepted breach agreement’ [ABA] with the FIA was extended and that they expect talks to pick back up before the Mexico City GP.
If Red Bull accepts the verdict of going over its allocated budget, the penalty enforced on them will not be very severe. The team will likely lose some development time on parts or may incur a minor financial liability. However, if they remain glued to their stance and don’t accept the ABA’s verdict, the penalties may become much more severe.
Possible penalties for Red Bull
The consequences for rejecting the ABA’s ruling may result in Red Bull getting a heavy fine. They will also see a deduction in drivers’ and constructors’ points for the 2021 season. Penalties may include some race bans as well. The other teams on the grid have been very open in their stance against Red Bull’s cost breach. They want the maximum possible penalty imposed on the Red Bull team.
Zak Brown sent a letter to the FIA asking them to show no leniency. He even termed the Red Bull team cheaters, though he never mentioned the team’s name in the letter. Lewis Hamilton said to the press that if Red Bull did get some advantage by going over budget, it would mean that Verstappen’s 2021 title win would be in jeopardy.
Horner disappointed by Rivals statements
The statement made by Hamilton is quite correct. Points deduction for Verstappen may see him lose his driver’s title for the 2021 F1 season. In their defense, Red Bull has said that the areas they have overspent on primarily include cafeteria expenses. Parts that were developed but never used on the car in any race. They said the team didn’t gain any competitive advantage from these cases. Christian Horner said that the group was taken aback by the accusations made by their rivals. They were tremendously disappointed by the blame laid on them. Horner has said that the team will show full transparency when the verdict on their cost cap breach has been reached. They will not accept any secret deal as Ferrari did with FIA in 2019.