We Finally Know What Red Bull’s Sanctions Are For Breaching The 2021 Cost Cap – WTF1

We Finally Know What Red Bull’s Sanctions Are For Breaching The 2021 Cost Cap

Well, there we have it. Our answer for what Red Bull Racing’s punishment will be for breaching the 2021 F1 cost cap. The team will be made to pay a fine and will have a reduced amount of car development time for their overspending.

The chunky doc shared by the championship’s governing body, the FIA, states that Red Bull have accepted the following sanctions:


This must be paid to the FIA within 30 days of the date of execution of the Accepted Breach Agreement (ABA).


This “minor sporting penalty” is in the form of Red Bull’s aerodynamic testing time allowance being cut by 10% for 12 months. This will likely directly impact their 2023 car.

There’s also then a load of complicated terminology which states how that’s calculated, but we won’t bore you with that…

These sanctions were decided as part of an Accepted Breach Agreement between the FIA and Red Bull – basically meaning Red Bull accepted they had broken the budget cap rules and got smaller penalties than it might they’d gone for the F1 equivalent of a trial.

As The Race reports, “Red Bull inaccurately excluded and/or adjusted costs of £5,607,000 from its budget cap submission of £114,293,000 – which the FIA says constitutes an overspend of £1,864,000.”

And it looks like some of it wasn’t so much an overspend as a bit of untidy accounting: “Had a ‘notional tax credit’ been correctly applied by Red Bull the breach would have been £432,652.”

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

6 thoughts on “We Finally Know What Red Bull’s Sanctions Are For Breaching The 2021 Cost Cap

  • Dr Prometheus says:

    So the other teams have exaggerated the Budget Cap Overspend of Red Bull, and damaged both the F1 and Red Bull brand. I doubt you can call this cheating…

    Also, when will there be an investigation to the leakage of the breach info?

    I am OK with the punishment. Now go and win the 3rd and 2nd in a row next year. 😛

      • Only 500k over and accounted for by catering and other minor things, with the FIA clearing them of any intentional overspend?

        When Toto claimed 10 million over and Zak called it cheating? Totos FIA insider connections need to be investigated first off. Without him making bold and very wrong claims this would have been a minor memo, but as Dr P said this has stirred up a huge PR issue for F1 (who lewis fans will now say allows ‘cheating’) and Red Bull both. Just a stupid stupid thing for Toto to speak before the investigation.

  • An added layer of complexity to consider. Do all teams submit in their native currency? If so, do the cost cap regulations specify fixed exchange rates for converting the cap to each team’s relevant currency? US $145m has been referred to widely for the 2021 cap, but of course Red Bull is stationed in the UK and therefore submits in pounds. The stated amounts for their original submission and errors less an overspend of £1.864m implies a cost cap of £118,036,000.
    With a relatively weak pound right now, a $US 145m cap would equate to £125.26m cap today.

  • The overspend numbers are smaller than I expected, so I don’t mind the light punishment.

    An accountant buddy of mine says it’s normal to include notional tax credits, and in the US at least, a lot of industry regulations require accountants to include them. Then you hope they actually apply, and if they don’t then you panic and implement plan B.

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