F1 cost cap: Red Bull and Aston Martin both breach spending rules
Aston Martin and Red Bull found to have made ‘procedural breach’ of F1 spending rules, but latter also make ‘minor overspend’ in 2021
After more than a week of intense speculation the FIA has finally confirmed that two teams - Aston Martin and Red Bull - have broken cost cap rules for the previous F1 season.
Both outfits are said to have made a ‘procedural breach’ of the spending rules, although Red Bull also made ‘minor overspend breaches’ as well.
The cost cap was introduced last season in a bid to close the financial gap between the biggest and smallest teams: each could spend up to $145 million on its operations for 2021, which you’ll no doubt remember was won by Max Verstappen in a controversial finale in Abu Dhabi.
According to the FIA Cost Cap Administration, “all Competitors acted at all times in a spirit of good faith” throughout the review, but notes “that no full formal investigations were launched".
Williams also made a procedural breach, but this has already been “remediated by Williams in a timely, cooperative and transparent manner”. The team was fined $25,000.
No other details have been provided, although the CCA is now “determining the appropriate course of action under the Financial Regulations".
According to the rulebook, a minor breach means Red Bull overspent by less than five per cent of the cost cap, but in recent days rival teams have argued that even this could’ve given them a significant performance advantage on track.
Possible punishments include one or more of the following: a public reprimand, a deduction of constructors’/drivers’ championship points, race suspensions, limitations on aerodynamic or other forms of testing, or an individual reduction of the team’s cost cap.
Reports suggest both teams intend to appeal the decision, so it could be a while yet before we find out the penalties will be. No doubt the dark regions of the internet will provide us with plenty of conspiracy theories in the meantime...
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