There’s never a dull day in F1, is there? People often say that this championship is more dramatic than an episode of Desperate Housewives, and we can see why 🤣 In today’s news, it’s being suggested that Red Bull and Aston Martin have broken the 2021 budget cap.
Now, it needs to be stressed that this is a rumour at the moment. Nothing is official, but publications like The Race expect that the FIA will make an announcement about the situation in due course.
WHAT IS THE BUDGET CAP?
The budget cap was first introduced last season, with a base limit of $145million put on teams up and down the grid. Although there were some exceptions, with the F1 Sprint events, for example, it’s still a cap that has been put on all teams and shouldn’t be exceeded.
Naturally, for the bigger teams with deeper pockets and more money available to spend, getting given a new limit might be a struggle based on previous habits.
2021 accounts for all teams have been submitted, and gossip in the paddock suggests that two teams have gone over the budget cap – with the talk being that it’s Red Bull and Aston Martin.
HOW MUCH DID THEY GO OVER IT?
The Race has reported that both these teams are likely to be assessed with only a “minor breach” of the regulations, which means they’ve exceeded the cap by up to 5%, which at maximum is around $7 million. That still sounds like a BIG number to us, though 😨
WHAT IS THE PENALTY?
Regulations state that minor breaches like this may result in “financial penalties and/or any minor sporting penalties”. Although we’re sure F1 fans will have their own ideas for what the punishment should be, the FIA has the option to take championship points away from both the teams and the drivers.
Yeah, serious stuff.
Although docking points would be hugely dramatic as it could ultimately alter the 2021 championship standings, there are other options. Penalties like public reprimands, suspension from one or more “stages” of a competition but not a race, limitations on the ability to conduct aerodynamic or other testing and/or a reduction in the cost cap are all possibilities.
If these teams are found to have gone OVER 5% of the budget cap, well… it’s not good news. We’re talking championship exclusions and race bans.
For now, we’ll have to see how the situation develops and what the FIA say next. But it’s certainly a story we weren’t expecting coming into the Singapore weekend!
We’ll keep you updated!