The FIA found the Red Bull Formula 1 team in violation of the 2021 budget cap regulations, while Aston Martin violated a procedural rule.
The 2021 cost cap findings have been released by the FIA, and Red Bull was found to have violated the cap while Aston Martin was found to have violated procedural rules.
All ten teams submitted their accounts for inspection by the FIA in order to be checked for compliance with the new rules, which allow a spending cap of $145 million.
Red Bull, however, was found to have committed violations in terms of both substantive and procedural infractions, and Aston Martin was also found to have broken the law in terms of substantive offenses but fell below the allowed threshold.
The day after Max Verstappen was named a two-time F1 champion, Red Bull received confirmation of a cloud that has been hanging over the team since since rumors first surfaced ahead of the previous Singapore Grand Prix.
The $145 million cap set for last season was never exceeded, according to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, who made that claim in every statement his team made to the FIA. However, the FIA has now formally determined that Red Bull exceeded the cap, albeit it has not specified by what amount.
Aston Martin, on the other hand, has just violated a procedural rule, which mostly refers to incomplete or erroneous form filing as Red Bull followed suit.
Williams was confirmed to have committed a procedural violation earlier this year, leaving three teams in violation. The other seven teams, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, Alpine, AlphaTauri, Alfa Romeo, and Haas, have all been given certificates of compliance.
“The review of the reporting documentation submitted has been an intensive and thorough process, and all competitors gave their full support in providing the required information to assess their financial situation during this first year of the financial regulations.
“The FIA Cost Cap Administration notes that all competitors acted at all times in a spirit of good faith and co-operation throughout the process.
“The FIA would also note that with respect to this first year of the application of the financial regulations, the intervention of the FIA Cost Cap Administration has been limited to reviewing the submissions made by the competitors and that no full formal investigations were launched.
“The FIA Cost Cap Administration is currently determining the appropriate course of action to be taken under the financial regulations with respect to Aston Martin and Red Bull and further information will be communicated in compliance with the regulations,” the statement from FIA read.
“The Cost Cap Administration has several options when dealing with an alleged breach of the financial regulations. It can enter, when deemed appropriate, into a settlement referred to as an Accepted Breach Agreement [ABA] with the competitor concerned in case of a procedural breach or minor overspend breach.”
“Or, if no agreement can be reached or the Cost Cap Administration considers it more appropriate, it can refer the case to the Cost Cap Adjudication Panel.
“The Cost Cap Adjudication Panel comprises a panel of between six and 12 judges elected by the FIA General Assembly in accordance with the FIA Statutes from among the candidates proposed by either the FIA Sport Member Associations entitled to vote or a group of not less than five F1 Teams.”
“Procedural Breaches can result in financial penalties and/or minor sporting penalties (in case of aggravating factors) as detailed in the Financial Regulation. Minor overspend breaches can result in financial penalties and/or minor sporting penalties.”
On that occasion, the team was fined for missing a deadline for submitting documentation by one day, but it was determined that their costs were within the cost cap.
The FIA expressed gratitude to the teams in the statement for “their full cooperation in providing the necessary information to assess their financial situation during this first year of the Financial Regulations [in a] intensive and thorough process” and for “acting at all times in a spirit of good faith.”
Red Bull might face severe consequences for the overspending, including disqualification from the championship in 2021, but this is extremely improbable.
A fine, a shorter development timeline, and a lower next cost cap to the overspend margin are more likely outcomes. The proper course of action will be decided upon after Aston Martin and the penalty are both confirmed.