FIA confirms Red Bull, Aston Martin’s violation of Formula One cost cap rules

After intense speculation since the Singapore Grand Prix that two teams were found to have spent more than the $145 million cap in 2021, motorsports’ governing body officially released its results on Monday.

It said in a statement that all teams had issued their own certifications of compliance except for Red Bull, Aston Martin and Williams.

Williams’ breach was a reference to filing delays last year, for which the team was fined.

Aston Martin was seen as having a procedural breach of the rules as was Williams, while Red Bull was said to have a procedural and “secondary” spending breach.

The FIA’s belief that Red Bull broke the spending limit comes despite the team expressing confidence that their financial submission last March was comfortably below the limit.

Speaking at the recent Singapore Grand Prix, Red Bull boss Christian Horner said he believed his team had fully complied with the rules.

“I’m pretty sure we’re submissive,” he said. “She went through an operation. It started in March, in terms of [being] It is fully signed off by our auditors who are clearly one of the big three. And we think we’re comfortably inside the cap.

“So the FIA ​​is following up on their procedure. Hopefully, and perhaps this week, not only us, but all the teams, will hear the outcome of that process.”

F1 regulations specify a range of options as punishment for teams that have breached the cost cap.

For a minor breach, less than a 5% overspend, penalties can include a public reprimand, a deduction from constructors’ or drivers’ championship points, exclusion from events, restrictions on air testing or a fine.

There were no details on how the FIA ​​would deal with violations of the rules by Aston Martin and Red Bull.

A statement said: “The FIA ​​Cost Ceiling Department is currently determining the appropriate course of action to be taken under the Financial Regulations in relation to Aston Martin and Red Bull and further information will be communicated in accordance with the regulations.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull’s overspending will lead to increased scrutiny of how the FIA ​​handles the issue, with many groups suggesting it will be a test case for the success of the cost cap.

Should the FIA ​​take a heavy hit on the Milton Keynes-based team, it could be seen as unfair given the extent to which there are new cost cap regulations and how everyone is trying to understand them at this point.

However, if the governing body is too lenient, it could open the door for competing teams to feel they no longer need to stick to spending limits.

Speaking on Sunday in Japan, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto considered it better for the FIA ​​to be too tough than to try to get it under the rug.

“What’s important for us is whatever the breach is, if there is any breach, the penalty has to be big, because believe me, our cars today in Japan tried to fight for the best position,” he said.

“These are cars that were developed to maintain, while respecting the same budget cap, and we know how much that could mean in terms of performance, even if it’s a small breach.

“You mentioned five million is about half a second, even one or two million is about one or two tenths of being second on the grid or being number one and maybe having the fastest car.

“Obviously around 2021, and starting in 2021, it’s an advantage to gain over the following seasons. I think what we need and what I expect is complete transparency and clarity about the discussions that may have taken place.”

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