Red Bull Racing Confirmed To Have Gone Over Budget Cap Last Season – WTF1

Red Bull Racing Confirmed To Have Gone Over Budget Cap Last Season

So, it’s official. Red Bull HAVE gone over the limit set in the 2021 budget cap. The FIA have completed their review of last year’s financial regulations and determined that the team home to two-time world champion Max Verstappen did breach the rules.

It was widely rumoured that this could be the case, with Aston Martin’s name also being dragged into the conversation. However, the FIA have now confirmed that Aston Martin has a only a Procedural Breach, whereas Red Bull Racing are in Procedural and Minor Overspend Breaches.

So, what next? Well, the FIA have made it clear that there’s no penalty decided yet when it comes to Red Bull or Aston Martin. They’re still deciding the appropriate course of action, and more information will be communicated at a later date.

“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,” a statement reads. “The FIA Cost Cap Administration notes that all Competitors acted at all times in a spirit of good faith and cooperation 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 also references Williams Racing, which “has complied with the Financial Regulations in respect of the 2021 Reporting Period with the exception of a previous Procedural Breach (in regard to which the Cost Cap Administration entered into an ABA with Williams in May 2022. This Procedural Breach was then remediated by Williams in a timely, cooperative and transparent manner).”

It’s all rather complicated terminology, but basically, Red Bull have exceeded the budget cap set for the 2021 season. A “minor” breach is believed to be up to 5% more than what’s allowed, and as a result, they’ll likely be punished for this.

Punishments could look like taking championship points away from teams and drivers, suspensions from one or more stages of competition, or a reduction of the cost cap amount they’re allowed to spend, among other things.

We’ll now have to wait for another announcement to see what they decide to enforce.

Either way, it’s not great news for Red Bull Racing 😬

27 thoughts on “Red Bull Racing Confirmed To Have Gone Over Budget Cap Last Season

  • I mean it’s a breach and should be punished with a disqualifications from the championship. How many times did teams get disqualified from the championship for various reasons that may not be the same but still. There is now a rule and going over it doesn’t need classification like 5% either more or less, it’s either a penalty that is deserved after going over the limit, or the FIA is just a bunch of people that are there just typically.

    • Dr Prometheus says:

      Are “fans” really THAT desperate?
      – FIA following the rules: NO THAT IS NOT FAIR!
      – Fia NOT following the rules: NO THAT IS NOT FAIR!

    • If that were the case, no one would have ever head of one Lewis ‘Pouting Prima Donna’ Hamilton other than as a footnote to the most egregious cheating scandal in all of motorsports.

  • Easy solution is to just take that amount out of the cost cap for 2023 with interest. Nobody believes for a moment that overspending was the primary driving factor behind Max winning the 2021 title, and even if it was, revoking a WDC handed out almost a year ago over a financial breach that he almost certainly had no part in would not fit the crime. At absolute worst RB would get penalized constructors’ points a la Racing Point 2020 (note that the drivers’ totals were unaffected, because it wasn’t specifically their fault)

    • Jetson Flyers says:

      Monetary penalties undermine the reason for the cap in the first place. Do you think if all they are penalized is what is essentially a “luxury tax” that it will discourage rich teams at all? This is how MLB is set up and rich teams break the spending limits frequently… by a lot! Deducting the amount from the current seasons cap would also have to include some sort of non-monetary penalty, as this would only create a scenario where teams just keep pushing their overages/penalties to the following season and exploiting loopholes. Monetary penalties are fine, but only if accompanied by an impactful and meaningful penalty at some point.

    • Richard Hobbs says:

      It may well be the only reason he was able to win Mexico and the USA, or get 2nd in Russia

      He drove amazingly, and might not have even needed RB to cheat, but they did, and there’s every possibility he would’ve lost without it

    • By your reasoning, a team could go $100 million over budget, win the championship and likely the next 2 also from the extra work they did over other teams and take a financial penalty while still winning

  • Dr Prometheus says:

    So a minor breach would be most likely a financial punishment. Or they could ask some money back from Mercedes for the destroyed cars.

    • a financial penalty would just mean putting a price tag on breaching the cost cap, hardly a deterrent for the big teams. The cost cap rules would crumble after that.

    • For Verstappen being a terrible wheel to wheel driver. It is not a minor breach and the FIA know it, they are just trying to control the narrative of this mess

  • Jetson Flyers says:

    The penalty is a crucial decision as it is precedent setting. I believe the penalty should be harsh (not to the extent of anything that would change RB or Max’s championships but impactful), but I am not holding out any hope considering FIA’s history.

    Monetary penalties would be the absolute worst idea as they would directly counter the spirit of the cost cap in the first place. Charging a “tax” or deducting the overage from future seasons caps with interest would only open up a way for richer teams to “game the system”.

    • I would agree with you if that was the only penalty that ever got invoked and there was no escalation for knowingly and repeatedly going over. For a first time offense of this magnitude I think it’s reasonable, but doing so multiple times over multiple seasons should be grounds for more serious punishments

      • Jetson Flyers says:

        Ha, both replied to each other at the same time. Yeah, I agree. As long as the FIA clarify this with their decision a monetary fine this time would be ok. But it HAS to let it be known that you can’t do this every year and the punishment will be severe if it happens twice within a few years.

    • Exclusion from the championship should be the precedent straight away. I bet the other teams are livid and I can see the FIA getting sued if they let Red Bull keep those championships. It’s like letting a team run with 1-5% more fuel than other teams for a season

  • of course it’s not the drivers fault however if a team is in breach of regulations we should know. RB were as they say totally honest no regulations had been broken, alas not. 5% is a joke

    • Having used 100ml too much fuel in a race is also not the drivers fault but leads to exclusion from the race, do this needs exclusion from a whole season.

    • being honest doesn’t mean you didn’t break the rules, even accidentally. 5% is millions of dollars. I don’t think RB tried to do anything wrong, but they did break the regulations, the FIA has said this.

  • When the FIA penalised teams with disqualification for minor technical breaches like the floor being 2mm too thin or the team used 200ml too much fuel in a race, then to show integrity they have to exclude Red Bull from last year’s championship. if not then the other teams should sue the FIA as they lost prize money from all the points Red Bull acquired illegally. What they consider a minor breach is just choice words to cover up the mess they are in with a championship team being over budget.

  • Herman Finkelstein says:

    I just read that the issue is about if Newey is or ain’t an employee as a consultant. RB sees him as 1 of the people who are the most expensive and therefore as part of the 3 excluded salaries. the FIA says he has a consultant he does not count as an employee and therefore he does not be part of the exclusion of 3 employees his very large compensation should be inside the cost cap and a much cheaper employee fills in his spot.
    If this is true this whole thing is about nothing. I do not think any judge will rule in favour of the FIA. it’s more that there should be a clarification for the accounting department. and this was expected to happen. and will happen in the future. it’s part of the introduction of a cost cap.

    More worrying is the fact that mercedes for the 2nd time this season knows more that everyone else, remember the stay rod they had prepared? I find this so much more a breach.
    not yet Mclaren levels scandal but who knows if we start digging there.

    • Where did you read that? Not doubting you, just curious. I haven’t seen that.

      Even if it is an issue with how they classified him, that still means they overspent. Newey had a huge hand in designing this year’s car, so in my opinion, that makes even more of a case for a penalty for this year. Yes, there needs to be an allowance for the cost cap beginning, and if RB weren’t sure, they should have asked for clarification. The FIA sets the rules and RB didn’t follow them, plain and simple. And them not following them led to an advantage on track. (Plus, employee vs. consultant has other tax related implications outside of the cost cap itself.) It’s the same thing as when Vettel had that problem with his fuel last year. Yes, it wasn’t malice or anything intentional on the part of Aston Martin, but he was still disqualified. (not that I’m advocating for that specifically in RB’s case).

      I don’t think we know anywhere near enough to say anything about Merc. And it’s nowhere near Mclaren 2007. That’s more likely to be an internal HR issue for the FIA, someone spread a rumor who shouldn’t have, rather than bad behavior from Merc.

      I don’t think anyone is trying to do anything wrong here. But, advantages are being had, so penalties need to be had as well.

      • Herman Finkelstein says:

        Not sure been a few days ago. but lets presume it’s correct.
        if you have 4 bills 10,10,10 and 1 pound and the rule is that you can exclude the 3 most expensive items. and you have a 1 pound budget you are within budget.

        Now lets pretend thats what we have done and the FIA then says this 10 pound item doesnt count because we do not like you bought it with bitcoin or some other reason.

        Now my most 3 expensive items are 10,10,1 pound and I am 9 pounds over budget as the 10 pound now need to fit in my 1 pound budget.

        It are the same 4 items.
        So it’s true that the discussion is about how Newey gets paid I think the discussion is pointless and RB is not over budget.

        • So, I’ve worked in a lot of grant funded positions, where we have really strict budgets and there are a lot of rules about what we can and can’t buy. You still get in a lot of trouble for filing things wrong. RB is over budget, they did it wrong/in a way the FIA didn’t like. That has consequences, just as it would in any other field.

  • Why is it that Verstappen fans always deflect infringements by him or RB by bleating on about LH? I’ve always been fairly team and driver agnostic, but every comments section has them bringing up silly name-calling insults and fantasy interpretations of rules.

    They say 2021 season was won and move on, then bring up incidents with LH from years by.
    They think clarification of a rule is a rule change.
    They say the FIA is swayed by MB when clearly most of the controversial decisions have been ones in favour of RB/MV.

    It’s quite saddening that you can’t have a proper discussion anymore, with all the fanboys of MV childishness. It’s almost like the GOP shouting “but her emails” all the time.

    • Herman Finkelstein says:

      As the cost cap was introduced I directly knew this was trouble, because there is no way that there would be no issues at the introduction, that only 1 “infringement” was noted is to me very suprising. because I expected that last year and the comming few years we would see plenty of of “accounting clarifications” to tigten up the rules.

      Especially in accounting rules are a nightmare.
      So it looks like this “infringement” is about how someone gets paid. instead of what he gets payed this whole “infringement” thing is pointless. I expected a minor breach (a few thousand because of a disagreement between some little thing that does or doesnt count), when I heared millions I was like no way, no team is that stupid. and if the Newey thing is real, if thats in fact the reason. that this whole discussion is moot

      Would anyone care if for example Toto was payed in dividents, contract, contracted (self employed) or another way? no x million is x million. he is part of MB and the best payed emplyee off course. and how he gets payed I can’t care and therefore he is always 1 of the best 3 payed

      If I read news right I would install a super computer at Newey’s house and ask him to be contracted for F1 at 1 euro as a self employed contractor doesnt count right? No he is part of the team off course and so is his “payment”

      • Like a lot of F1, rules are open to interpretation. I suspect a lot is spent on people trying to get around the rules that isn’t even included in the cost cap for any team.

        The overspend is probably by excluding Newey on a technicality, whereas the intention of the rules is that he really should have been included. It’s almost like doing wind tunnel tests in a large building and saying “it’s not a tunnel, it’s an open space”. It could (and possibly will) happen to any team.

        I’m not a fanboy that would defend a team against all logic, and that was the point of my post. A clear discussion (like you present) is fine. What saddens me (and probably adds fuel to the fire) is when MV fans bleat on about “Hamilton tried to kill Max at Silverstone” when clearly it wasn’t intentional, or claiming the reason for the overspend is because he wrote off the car, ignoring the many times Max has driven into, over or break checked LH. Neither are without blame, both are talented, and generally it’s the one with the faster car that will win. Selectively choosing incidents, then misinterpreting them is what keeps the arguments going.

        Personally I think Toto comes across as calm and ruthless, Christian as smug. Not the best way to judge their character at all though, and both got where they are by being tough. We shouldn’t let that influence our opinions on the facts though, which I think a lot of people find hard to do.

  • This is a sport where precision is everything. They measure things to the thousandth of a second on track, off track they need to be similar. I can understand procedural breaches, if they are promptly and transparently corrected (this is a new system), but an overspend is not okay. If you push too hard on track, you put your car in the wall. If you push the budget too hard, you should get an equivalent penalty.

    Do I think this should take away a driver’s championship? Not specifically. But say, one constructors point per 1000 over, and one driver’s point for each driver for every 10000 over. Maybe add an extra zero, if you want to be more lenient. And be prepared to make adjustments for things like unexpected inflation/shipping costs from this year.

    I don’t love the idea of this affecting last year’s championship, it has the same feeling as investigating incidents after the race. So, maybe instead of last year, it affects this year. or next. Plus, 2021 is done and over with and we need to let it rest. Such a good season to watch until it was spoiled by all the controversy (no matter who you support/if you support someone). But the rules are the rules and there needs to be serious action. Make it standardized, so it’s enforceable consistently, so that 10 years from now when it’s Merc or Ferrari who are overspending, it’s the same penalty.

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