Red Bull exceeded F1’s $145m budget cap during 2021 season – FIA

2021 F1 season

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The FIA have confirmed that Red Bull exceeded the budget cap during the 2021 season, but said it has only committed a “minor” breach. It also made a “procedural” error in its following of the rules, the FIA said.

The sport’s governing body also found Aston Martin did not fully comply with the regulations, noting they had committed a “procedural” breach, and not overspent.

A third team, Williams, also committed a procedural breach which was reported earlier this year.

The FIA has not indicated how far Red Bull exceeded the spending limit by. Teams were restricted to a maximum expenditure of $145 million last season. The Financial Regulations defines a “minor” breach as being up to 5% over that, meaning Red Bull’s excess spending will be no more than $7.25m.

No sanctions for the breaches committed by Red Bull or Aston Martin have been announced. The matter will be referred to the FIA Cost Cap Administration for a decision.

Aston Martin committed a procedural breach, said the FIA
“Further information will be communicated in compliance with the regulations,” said the FIA in a statement.

The Financial Regulations allow for any combination of six different penalties to teams which commit “minor” breaches. These are a public reprimand, deduction of constructors’ or drivers’ championship points, suspension from stages of competitions (excluding races), limitations of aerodynamic or other testing or a further reduction of the cost cap.

Red Bull finished second in the constructors championship last year, while Aston Martin came seventh. Red Bull driver Max Verstappen won the drivers championship by eight points from Lewis Hamilton.

In a statement Red Bull said they reacted with “surprise and disappointment” to the FIA’s decision.

“Our 2021 submission was below the cost cap limit, so we need to carefully review the FIA’s findings as our belief remains that the relevant costs are under the 2021 cost cap amount.

“Despite the conjecture and positioning of others, there is of course a process under the regulations with the FIA which we will respectfully follow while we consider all the options available to us.”

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FIA statement on cost cap

The FIA confirms that its Cost Cap Administration has now completed the review of the Reporting Documentation submitted by each Competitor that participated in the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship in respect of the 2021 Reporting Period ending on 31 December 2021.

The FIA Cost Cap Administration has issued certificates of compliance to seven of the ten Competitors:

  • Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team is considered to be in Procedural Breach of the Financial Regulations;
  • Oracle Red Bull Racing is considered to be in Procedural and Minor Overspend Breaches of the Financial Regulations; and
  • Williams Racing 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).

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 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.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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365 comments on “Red Bull exceeded F1’s $145m budget cap during 2021 season – FIA”

  1. Dutch Telegraaf (yes: I know) reports they were over by 1 or 2 million – on things like free catering for their (including RBT and RBPT) 1000 employees in Milton Keynes, and things like sick pay.

    Still things that other teams managed to do within budget, mind. So not sure that mitigates it.

    1. Those things arn’t covered by the cap so it’s a pretty poor excuse.

    2. as i understand FIA did not accepted the salary of Newey as one of the three free/excluded staff.
      Newey has a special kind of contract and is not seen as part of the team.
      I guess his salary is way more then the overspending.

      1. So …??? Is Newey worth the cost.?
        I can still see the first page of my first Economics 101 text book.
        Opening paragraph, “There is no such thing as a Free Lunch.”
        Took me a while to grasp the significance, but it still rings true all these years later.
        Should I send a copy to C. Horner.?

  2. I’m sure I speak for all fans when I say that I expect a suitably severe punishment.

    1. Yeah the FIA should prevent making it a @sham. The penalties being vaguely defined is realy not great. If it is supposed to be a real deterrent, the penalty should cost a team more than what they gained and on top should punish them to reconsider repeating that.

      And I think with all those teams claiming that even a single million extra would have helped their team find an extra 3 tenths etc, they should probably reconsider whether a 5% (i.e. up to 7,5 million extra spending) limit is really all that minor.

      1. @bascb – Daily Mail reported last week that it’s a minor breach of less than $1m and there was a procedural issue. They’ve got 2/3 right so far and if the rest is accurate, that means they’ve overspent by less than 0.7%.

        If a “minor breach” is anything up to 5% then they need to significantly change the rules that they all agreed to if they’re now claiming sub-1% is enough to gain teams massive amounts of pace.

        1. If a “minor breach” is anything up to 5% then they need to significantly change the rules that they all agreed to if they’re now claiming sub-1% is enough to gain teams massive amounts of pace.

          indeed, @petebaldwin.

          There will certainly be discussion about these limits and potential penalties etc. and whether they are the right ones. And off course whether the FIA has applied the right penalty from what they have available. And most likely also about how they came to their conclusions, possibly including some claims they are trying to hide numbers to avoid having to change anything in the championship standings retroactively, which the FIA is clear to want to avoid.

          But it’s pretty annoying that the FIA is not publishing the numbers, since now we as fans, and the media are left with having to rely on teams claiming all sorts of things in a discussion, we don’t even know whether it is closer to 1 million or to 7 million, nor do we know any details of what was adjusted after the first draft by the FIA (where there were no breaches at all).

          1. But it’s pretty annoying that the FIA is not publishing the numbers

            That’s the key. For all I know Max could have won 2 championships that he doesn’t deserve, but without numbers I have no idea as to whether the overspend was by $5K or $5m.

            That and there’s potentially an advantage that was gained that could last for the duration of the current rules. How to work around that to rebalance the competition isn’t obviously laid out.

        2. Lewisham Milton
          10th October 2022, 22:27

          You lost me at “Daily Mail reported”…

          1. Same here,
            Martin Brundle stated it’s $1.8 million on Sky Sports F1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6OfskZ5hEM&t=625s

          2. I should have also said, Toto has said (Autosport) the Merc budget for upgrades was $3.5 million. So if that was also RBR’s initial budget then they exceeded it by 50%.

          3. Thanks for the link @w-k, really solid take on the matter from Brundle.

          4. Absolutely – they’re not generally trustworthy (and to be fair, it was reported elsewhere as well but I believe they were first) however they were the first people to say it was a minor breach and they were the first people to also confirm there was a procedural issue. They’ve been proven right on 2/3 of the things they said so far which was in direct contradiction to what a lot of the rumours were about massive overspends.

          5. @w-k – £1.8m could be right – again we don’t know yet. If it is, we’re still looking at the bottom end of the minor breach bracket with 1.24%

            Of course if that money was spent entirely on upgrades then it’s quite a big deal however if that money was spent elsewhere, Red Bull felt it should be excluded from the budget cap but the FIA are saying (as a random example) “no, that’s a form of hospitality and therefore counts towards the cap” then the situation is vastly different.

            The figures alone don’t really tell the full story and as we are never going to be given access to the full submissions from the teams, some fans will forever remain unhappy with the outcome.

            They’re in a difficult position. No-one trusts the FIA but they can’t release the confidential financial records that they’ll need to in order to back themselves up. If they give Red Bull a slap on the wrist, lots of fans will forever say they cheated and if they give them a severe penalty, Red Bull will take them to court because they don’t believe they overspent.

          6. Of course if that money was spent entirely on upgrades then it’s quite a big deal however if that money was spent elsewhere, Red Bull felt it should be excluded from the budget cap but the FIA are saying (as a random example) “no, that’s a form of hospitality and therefore counts towards the cap” then the situation is vastly different.

            That doesn’t matter.

            If, for instance, it’s because they budgeted wrongly for catering (which I doubt)… They made that choice. Having made that choice, if they’d accounted for it correctly, they’d have had less money available for car development.

            It would be different if several teams had gone over. However, every other team has managed to avoid overspending. The only team which didn’t, just happens to be the team whose driver won the WDC by a tiny margin…

        3. They had a really interesting calculation at AMuS a cople of years back, where they deducted “fixed” costs from teams’ budgets and divided that by the points haul to rate efficiency.

          Bottom line: freight costs, travelling and engines are pretty much the same for all teams. Entry fees are known, top tier salaries of execs and drivers leaked often enough. And the rest of the budget was considered as money to make the car faster . At least the small teams could be easily compared.

          The “minor” difference between Williams and Force India at the time (let’s say 100 and 105 million per year, because I forgot the exact numbers) caused the difference from running dead last to getting an occasional podium.

      2. While it may be called a “minor” breach, the penalties does include things like points deductions of the season in question (which is a big deal in the context of Max’s narrow title win).

        The problem is whether they have the guts to implement it cos it’s not a mandatory punishment.

    2. “I’m sure I speak for all fans … ” Good, I appreciate the effort. On all subjects, too.

      1. Apologoes i pressed repprt comment in error.

    3. For minor accounting breaches relating to catering and staff sick leave pay?
      It will be a fine and nothing more…

      1. You are missing the point. Every team pays for the catering and sick leaves of its employees. If Red Bull did not manage to squeeze this sum into the budget cap and others did, it means Red Bull had to spent that additional money elsewhere (salary of engineers, development etc.).

        1. exactly this.

          If they didn’t keep the spending within the cap for catering and sick pay, then surely its’ because they ran out of money spending too much on car upgrades.

        2. Yeah. And it will mean that next year (this season) everyone will be doing the same.

          1. This isn’t quite true: the TOP teams may push the boundary, but the overspend is a slap in the face of the teams that can’t hope to reach, or breach, the cost cap.
            You can rest assured they will all be furious about it.

          2. @bascb Wait until the FIA deducts 200 constructors points to Red Bull in 2021 and 25 driver points in 2022 in a logic of their own, at the end of the season when Max has won by more than that margin. Effectively not having any impact but still being a relatively big deterrent for teams in the future…

            It can go anywhere with the ones in charge. Everybody hopes for transparence and “appropriate” consequences but the history of the decision making is not really supporting this.

          3. Ah, that would be a “fun” one @jeanrien. Yeah, I am not keeping my hopes up the FIA will want to rock the boat and be firm on this.

      2. There’s no accounting for some britches or bridges

    4. Yeah ..pubic reprimand would be the most servere.
      Unless Keith correct the typos.

      1. Yeah, it’s interesting if this will apply only to the leadership or to 5% of the staff :)

        Seriously speaking, in my mind the most constructive way to address such issues is by adding extra cap to the up-coming season. For example, if you’ve spend 7.5 extra, once the previous season is finally accounted many months later, this is doubled and deducted from the next seasons spending cap e.g. for 2023 you get 130 instead of 145. I don’t think that this is the rule today and it might be more severe than the actual gain from the overspending, but there should be something tangible and simple enough.

        Another thing to consider is that this process seems is very complicated hence difficult to assess as it takes months to collect all “invoices” and then another few months for FIA to come up with the results. So it looks to me quite disputable in court, which should be always the matter once finance is involved.

        Personally, I quite disagree with budget caps, precise spec level type of rules, the new circuit designs, and so forth … most of the things we have today :)

        1. Seriously speaking, in my mind the most constructive way to address such issues is by adding extra cap to the up-coming season. For example, if you’ve spend 7.5 extra, once the previous season is finally accounted many months later, this is doubled and deducted from the next seasons spending cap e.g. for 2023 you get 130 instead of 145.

          But this allows a team to keep things that they earned through breaking the rules. If an Olympic athlete wins gold but is found to have used steroids to achieve it, the punishment shouldn’t be ‘you get to keep your medal and the win in the record books, but during your next competition we will apply a handicap’. That doesn’t address the issue of what they achieved through breaking the rules.

          1. Looks to me as rather incorrect analogy. It would have fit, for example, if they had used larger tanks, larger engine, larger battery, forbidden software aides, etc. For those you have easily measurable rules that virtually cannot be contested, which are part of the technical and sporting regulations that don’t involve other parties. The total spending is a few magnitudes harder to analyse and extremely disputable as multiple, contraversial but equally valid regulations and approaches that have nothing to do with F1 might apply, so this takes time and is impractical to be quantified to an objective penalty for the past. You can only play with it strategically for the future.

            Of course, F1 could become the only sport that decides to conclude an outcome of the championship a year later, or maybe apply ir for the current seasons where as we can see today there will be zero effect.

      2. Plus groin and gonad adjustments an option … a circumscription, perhap

    5. Why call it a “minor” breach (as defined in the regulations) if a “major” punishment is due?

      1. Major punishment is due because the only team in financial breach is the team that won the wdc.
        If the FIA don’t do something fairly major in response, last year’s and indeed this year’s championship went to cheats.
        Do cheats prosper? I really hope not.

        1. @WDC Max won the WDC not Redbull, and Mercedes of WCC, Redbull came second.

          1. He won the WDC in a car that was developed by overspending. That’s cheating, and so the WDC is invalid.

          2. Replying to Sham: So when Lewis won the WDC in 2008 in a car that was developed by data stolen from Ferrari – it happened in the first half of 2007, when the development cycle for the 2008 cars have already been underway, a very clear case of cheating -, does that make his first WDC also invalid? Just applying the same logic here ;)

          3. Replying to Palogyi, my understanding was that the data was never used and McLaren were able to prove that, which is why neither driver were penalised but the team was disqualified.

          4. To be exact: the drivers were not affected, and the two were free to contest the Drivers’ Championship, because McLaren’s drivers were offered immunity in exchange for cooperation.

            My undersanding is not actually using the data, but having the opportunity to study and assess it is basically the same as playing poker but seeing your opponent’s hand, or going to war having an intactly captured example of your enemy’s best fighter plane. You won’t – can’t – play your opponent’s hand, and you won’t actually field the captured plane, but you’ll still have an incredible knowledge advantage over them.

            So my question remains. Does the rule breaching of this magnitude by teams invalidate WDCs? (Of course not. Not even the fixed result of Crashgate was annuled.)

          5. Let’s not forget though @pagagyi, @sham, that after spygate got out, apart from the fine, the FIA also installed a very strict scrutiny on the McLaren team and their car development, requesting stringent proof (and checking data) that no part was influenced by the data.

            And yes, McLaren did indeed show that the team as such did not have the information available at their design team. Remember, Mosley held a grudge against Ron Dennis, he was making sure that Ron did not get away with anything, there was no light footing (in sharp contrast with the Renault team in a very similar case, who got away without much of a penalty at all)

          6. sorry, I misspelled your tag above @palagyi

          7. To BasCB it’s allright man, thanks tho

          8. So when Lewis won the WDC in 2008 in a car that was developed by data stolen from Ferrari… does that make his first WDC also invalid?

            In general, yes, it would.

            However, IIRC;
            1) as others have pointed out, there was significant evidence that the data hadn’t been used in car development and wasn’t accessible to those responsible for developing the the car. The same cannot be said for exceeding the budget cap.
            2) the FIA needed the cooperation of the drivers to gather enough evidence. Had they not offered them “immunity” for their help, there would probably have been no punishments at all. Few drivers on the grid, if any, would help the FIA with an investigation against their own team if that could lead them to be disqualified from the championship. Again, the same cannot be said for the budget cap. I doubt the drivers could help with that.

        2. It’s just like Secret Santa at work.

          You set a £10 limit but some clown always blows the budget and makes everyone else look bad.

          1. someone or something
            10th October 2022, 19:39

            @sonnycrockett
            Though, to be completely fair, in this analogy the clown still spent less than £10.50.

            This all sounds to me like we’ve just seen the beginning of a lengthy legal battle. But if, and that’s a medium-sized “if”, Red Bull will be found to have committed a so-called minor breach of the cost cap, that cannot be explained away with procedural errors, I reckon a fair penalty would be the lowering of Red Bull’s cost cap by twice the amount they are found to have overspent.

          2. And then the following year, everyone wants that guy to be their secret Santa, just for the good gift.

          3. re: someone or something’s post, yeah, it’s like $10.50, except that the $0.50 is $7,500,000. Yes, percentage-wise they’re equivalent, but when you’re running a business, $7,500,000 is still a LOT of money, and erring by 5% when that 5% is $7,500,000 is a pretty huge “mistake”. Though I genuinely suspect that it’s not a mistake at all. Look – that’s racing – you bend the rules as far as you can. And if the FIA institutes penalties that are worth less than $7.5M, the budget cap isn’t $145M, it’s really $152.5M for any team that can afford it, and the associated penalty.

        3. Just wondering how many agenda based comments we’re going to see from you, & for how long?

    6. A fitting punishment.. “severe” is an colored opinion.
      a minor breach should have minor penaltys.

      Important to know is how big this overspending actually is.. is it 0,1% or 5% making a lot of difference.
      FIA is shooting itself in the foot by this proces where very critical information is leaked by the FIA.
      Severe punishment for the leak would be in place.

    7. A severe punishment in the same way that Mercedes tested new car parts during a tyre test which is illegal and can be penalized with a championship disqualification? For this they were given a reprimand. Also Ferrari had an illegal engine and were not punished in any way at all other than being told they could not use it again. Would either of these punishments be suitably severe enough for you with regard to Red Bull?

      1. Regardless of the team, if something goes against the regulations of the sport then it should be penalised harshly to shut down any potential future transgressions. If a team went over the budget cap they should be removed from the WCC. If the team uses illegal parts they should be removed from races that said parts were used in. The tyre test was harder to judge as it included the actual tyre supplier but the penalty should have been harsher.

        Anyway, the matter shouldn’t be looked at as an individual team. This should be seen as the FIA chance to clampdown on the rules and state this is how it will go.

        1. Except the very nature of F1 is to push the limits.

          Lets wait and see – RB think they are under (probably by less than $1) and FIA think they are over by a minor amount (which could also be as little as $1). Could be differing interpretations requiring rules clarification, accounting error (possibly by the FIA) or a real intentional breach.

          1. This is true but then that is why they have the appeals process. If a team goes over budget then I believe they should be removed from the WCC and if they are confident they haven’t then they have the appeals process to counter that. If the penalty is just a minor fine then what is the point the budget cap to begin with.

      2. Doesn’t mean RBR shouldn’t be punished, although I suspect it will be a slap on the wrist.

        1. I fully agree that Red Bull should be punished suitably. My point is that this very rarely happens…

      3. How were Ferrari not punished? Their engine was neutered and spent 2020 behind mid grid and buggered their 21 season as well. Happy for RB’s punishment to be secret too if it means they go two years without hope of winning.

    8. 5 to 7 million overspend? What is that, the wages of 1 or 2 poached head designers?

    9. @sham I think they should penalize Max in 7 points.

    10. What a joke!

    11. Maybe they (RB) had some extra costs for security reasons. It doesn’t happen often that F1 personnel get death threats from “Fans”

    12. Lewis was DQed from Brazil qualifying because of an extremely minor discrepancy in wing measurement (a hell of a lot less than 5%). That arguably cost him the championship, due to the loss of sprint race points.
      To treat Red Bull and Verstappen more leniently would be a farce, especially since the spending violation was deliberate, unlike Merc’s Brazil breach.

      1. ^^^^^
        This!

        You raise a very good point.

        I would also add that Mercedes threatened legal action at the beginning of the year following Masi’s mistake, but dropped it for the good of F1. Likewise, I believe Red Bull should also follow suit should Max be stripped.

    13. Being a finance person, I will wait till I hear Red Bulls side before making a decision on guilt. These teams have many high paid accounts. I cant see a team making this mistake.

    14. A 25% points deduction in 2022 would make for a thrilling finale as Verstappen and Leclerq will be almost equal on points:

      Max Verstappen: 274.5 (366 – 25%)
      Charles Leclerq: 252

      The cheated fans would be set up for a great showdown, with Red Bull being closely monitored by the FIA to restrict their updates for the remaining races.

      1. On the Marbles
        11th October 2022, 16:09

        That is quite a neat idea…. won’t happen though.

    15. I’m sure I speak for all fans when I say that Crash Damage should not be included in the budget Cap. Especially when you aren’t at Fault for the Crash. Its like punishment for the Victim. Also its an incentive to do Damage to other teams so they will run out of Budget…

      1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        11th October 2022, 16:36

        I don’t think any crash is premeditated as the outcome is not guaranteed. had there been only a SC at Silverstone for example Hamilton would of almost certainly had a DNF.

        Look at Zhou in Singapore. He gets hit by Latifi and is out. Latifi’s penalty restores nothing for Zhou.

        I am certain Bottas would of loved to finish the race and not get all the stick for bowling.

        Racing has unfortunate consequences and that is the cost of going racing. The topic must of come up during the discussions to agree to the cost cap.

  3. And here goes the second asterix to the 2021 championship.

    1. Or should it be Obelix this time ;)

      1. Its obvious max drank the poition as kid ans his superpowers keep working.

  4. Here we go, buckle up sports fans

    1. is F1 and the F1 community trying to make money off of racing, or off of click bait? I cannot tell anymore. It feels like click bait….but I acknowledge I am just a grumpy old man….I’ll keeping watching these cars because they are so impressive!

  5. Well that confirms they didnt play by the rules. A points deduction in the constructors for the start of next season would be a fair punishment

    1. You are kidding, I hope? Penalties for the years in question are the only acceptable punishment. The overspend will have affected last year’s and this year’s cars handing their drivers a competitive advantage. Other users have likened it to doping in cycling, and it really is.

      1. still not sure how last years overspending as a result of continuous development of the 2021 car will help the delayed development of the 2022 car..
        But you can enlighten us of course.
        The tale about every ( figures dropping by the minute) bringing 0,2s profit on track are nonsense.

        1. All of the teams spent a large part of last year’s budget on this year’s car. That’s how it works.

          1. NO, thats NOT how it works.
            When shouting things try to know what your talking about.
            Every year has its own budget and that’s the one thats verified by FIA.

        2. still not sure how last years overspending as a result of continuous development of the 2021 car will help the delayed development of the 2022 car..

          Let’s keep it simple, we keep the numbers very simple and the period as just 2 years:

          OK. You have 100 to spend in year 1 and 100 to spend in year 2 = 200 total

          In year 1 you can stop spending on year 1 car part way through the year (you spent 95 already) and transfer say 5 to the year 2 lead development. Most teams do something like this.
          Or you can continue spending on year 1 car until you’ve used 100 and transfer nothing, this puts you at a spending advantage for year 1 but behind everyone who transferred 5 to year 2.
          Either way, your 2 year spend is 200

          Or, you can do the Red Bull option and spend all the 100 in year 1 and spend 5 on the year 2 lead development and then 100 in year 2 – you thus have a development spending advantage for both year 1 and year 2 and a total of 205 in the 2 year period. Since this is not within the spending cap framework, it’s a breach of the rules.

          “Every year has its own budget and that’s the one thats verified by FIA.”

          you say.

          Indeed so, and despite the creative accounting RBR used, the FIA noted an overspend – a verified overspend.

          1. Now this is a good explanation, makes sense as to how a team can gain on 2nd year by overspending on 1st.

        3. @seth-space in the case of 2021, you seem to have forgotten that, as a cost cutting measure due to the pandemic, the FIA introduced a large range of development restrictions on the 2021 cars. For example, areas such as the chassis, brakes and gearboxes had to have their design homologated before the 2021 season, with the teams only permitted to develop restricted areas of the car using the two development tokens they were allocated during that season.

          In fact, Red Bull cited those restrictions for the DRS failures they had in 2021, because the DRS mechanism was one area where development was restricted. Red Bull confirmed that they spent their development tokens on modifying the gearbox casing to change the rear suspension pick up points on the RB16B, which meant that they had no development tokens left – they were therefore prohibited from developing a new DRS mechanism, because that was on the list of parts where development was only permitted if the team had any development tokens left.

          “Continuous development of the 2021 car” would therefore not have been possible because the homologation requirements that were in place that year for budgetary reasons explicitly restricted development of the 2021 cars during the season.

      2. I’m not so sure this years car would of been affected, but please correct me if im wrong. And since the FIA have said its a minor breach i expect the punishmments to be minor as well. Im not Red Bull or Max fan but knowing how weak and inconsistent the FIA are in terms of handing out punishments i doubt they will take this seriously. Which is a big shame for the teams that have remained within the budget

        1. It would have been affected as they would have been working on this year’s car at the time. The ‘minor’ is mostly categorization rather then “they were a smidgen over” and applies if a team overspends by 5%

          1. This “minor breach” is the spin added to contain the story. They’ll only admit to a minor breach to save the sport from the embarrassment of admitting last year’s championship was won by cheats.

            The FIA daren’t admit to how toothless it is to act, hence this form of words to prepare the public for the pat on the wrist which they admonish.

          2. @Ajaxn
            Exactly what I was about to say.
            “Minor” is spin to prepare the ground, because the fix is in.

  6. They should give them a punishment that causes them to have a horrible 2023 season, perhaps a major cut in their budget for that season which would also hurt them in the coming seasons. It would be similar to Ferrari breaking the engine rules in 2019 and being punished with an awful 2020-21.

    Meanwhile, the 2021 championship victory can be kept, but lumped with Benetton’s 1994 equivalent as done through cheating and generally undeserved. (Even though Verstappen was the best driver in 2021, as Schumacher was in 1994).

    Assuming this is accurate, of course.

    1. surely Max and Lewis were equals in 2021 to the point of the beginning of the last race (hence equal on points?)… the fact that Lewis brought it back to a season finale would underline that… oh and then he was far superior in the final race itself?

    2. Points deduction, budget cap limited for the next season, fine of at least 2 times as much as the transgression substracted from it for this year AND next year and a further limit of say 5% to their aero development “budget” @f1frog.

      The whole process seems highly unsatisfactory, since there are no details published at all. They should at least have to show them to the teams, but ideally also to the press to dig into them. Now it all looks a bit too conveniently to give this as little attention as possible to keep it from “ruining the fun” of the championships.

      After winning the championship in the way they did on track with the help of muddled up restart procedures, it now turns out the team also overspent. And I think they themselves said they were expecting to be doing the same this year (and why wouldn’t they, since it doesn’t look so far like the FIA is really keen to hand out a matchign punishment) and again a somewhat surprising interpretation of the rules (be it, in this case it seems the correct one on paper, even though it goes against what they were going for when the new time limit and points limits were agreed upon) finishes with yet another title for Red Bull.

      Not a great picture for the sport or the brand.

      1. ….. breach of 1-2 mln… caused by merc in Spa & Silverstone…. any penalty woulď be highly unjustified

    3. I don’t see a problem in Red Bull having at least the same amount less to spend next season at a minimum.

      I mean they’re the only team that didn’t comply with the cost cap and just pipped the drivers championship. It’s going to be impossible to go forward and not have suspicions that they may not have won without the extra spending and whatever it benefitted them with.

      In a sport of super fine margins, with cars being disqualified due to millimetres, spending up to $7 million extra sounds like it would give you quite an advantage. It must be punished.

    4. Even though Verstappen was the best driver in 2021, as Schumacher was in 1994

      To paraphrase some anti-LH people round here:
      “It was just the extracar development

    5. Frog: “It would be similar to Ferrari breaking the engine rules in 2019 and being punished with an awful 2020-21”

      I may be misunderstanding, but I didn’t think Ferrari’s awful season had anything to do with punishment for breaking engine rules. I thought all that happened was that Ferrari were told not to do it again, whatever “it” was. Making Ferrari play by the same rules as everyone else isn’t punishing them. Karma, maybe, but punishment, no.

    6. It is by the FIA so it is accurate.

      The problem is there isn’t really any linked punishement, IE mandatory punishment for exceeding. They are a lot of stated possible punishments but it’s by the discretion of the FIA.

  7. Does this also confirm a leak within the FIA?

    That will make it even more interesting.

  8. They’ve already classed it as ‘minor’ so you can bet the punishment will have zero impact… so RB know they can go ahead and spend another 5% over the cap this year…. What would be the point of rules, cap etc… if the FIA and teams take no notice and penalties are not followed?

  9. No point speculating on punishments or repercussions without details. How much was the overspend and on what are important points we don’t have details on as yet. Then there is the inevitable (one would assume) appeal process from Red Bull to play out. However, until all that is laid out crystal clear for other teams and fans, this is only going to fuel the fire of speculation. What is clear is the FIA have a duty to have zero tolerance, or it will send a message that the cap isn’t working and open the doors for the entire grid to start bending the rules…

  10. If RBR don’t successfully appeal this decision I expect the penalty will be something relatively minor e.g. a fine, some limit on testing or maybe even a small reduction in their budget cap for 2023

    I cannot see anything being applied like temporary suspensions or a team points deduction. This would rather pointless anyway bearing in mind they did not actually win the constructors title in 2021. They won’t take away Max’s WDC for this.

    1. If RBR don’t successfully appeal this decision

      @phil-f1-21 Teams are not able to appeal either these initial findings or any sanction handed out by the cost cap panel it will now be referred to.

      1. @gt-racer I was going from the BBC article on this in the U.K. It does say that teams have the possibility of appealing. It does not make it clear at what stage though. This may be incorrect then but I don’t know.

      2. @gt-racer – Sure but once you run out of options to appeal, you take thing a to the next option. If Red Bull feel they have not overspent and the FIA issue a penalty that Red Bull are not happy with, they’ll go to court over it. It’ll be an interesting test of how much Red Bull truly believe they didn’t overspend because the loss of reputation and potential loss of money could be huge.

        1. I wonder if there’s a cost cap on legal expenses? It’s all part of the F1 competitive structure….

  11. I mean, given the crash in Silverstone cost Red Bull $2m to repair just one car let’s put $7m into perspective a little – it ain’t going to make them world champions alone. Like the word ‘minor’ here is something to take note of.

    They however did breach a rule they should have abided by. A fine for the parent company, public reprimand & limits to aero/cost usage is more than fine. Going straight to ‘let’s kick them out and cause significant damage to them’ is going a bit far.

    1. They ‘just’ won the drivers championship (and let’s face it that’s what 99% of fans care about and really watch for) by a super slim margin and are the only team who overspent. Funny that. Cars get disqualified for falling millilitres short of a suitable fuel sample or a millimetre extra on a wing outside of the rules. Up to 5% overspend is a huge advantage in a sport like this.

    2. So… $2m cost of about a whole car, or cost of a LOT of upgrades. to put $7m into perspective. Sure it didnt make them world champions alone, they also needed MASI.

    3. Allowances for unforeseen expenditures is part of making a budget. That Red Bull had significant Mercedes-caused repair costs is unfortunate (and should perhaps been reflected in the penalties applied to Mercedes, or lack thereof) but it is not a valid reason to spend more than allowed.

      It’s also a dumb thing to do. For some, this championship was already tainted by the events of Abu Dhabi, but unless there is a good story here, this is actually going to be what sticks to them. Others have already mentioned previous dubious/questionable championships, some of them from decades ago. That’s how long that stays around in the relatively small F1 world.

    4. @rocketpanda – Also worth pointing out that a minor breach is anything between $0.01-$7m

      They may have overspent by a very small amount or they may have overspent by a pretty huge amount. Obviously each should be penalised differently. Similarly, what was the overspend on? The submissions will show what was spent where – did Red Bull spend more on things that would give performance than Mercedes or was it in something else?

      It’s not as simple as, overspent = ban them forever. Obviously the subtleties won’t sit well with Lewis fans but we don’t know anywhere near enough to say what should happen yet.

      It was reported last week that it was a minor breach of less than $1m by a few papers in the UK. If that’s true then I don’t expect a huge penalty.

      1. That’s disingenuous… If they overspent, you can’t say it was spent on something which wouldn’t give them a performance advantage unless they spent nothing on anything which would do so. Anything they spent which wouldn’t give them a performance benefit is their own choice, and had they chosen to do so without overspending they would have had to reduce spending on things which did improve performance.

    5. Adam, it does seem harsh that a team has to include crash repairs under its budget cap, and I surprised to hear that was the case. Given crashes are a fact of life in F1, it would seem simple enough to say:

      1) Any car suffering crash damage in an incident involving another car from a different team may replace broken parts with replacements of an identical specification without those costs counting towards the budget cap. i.e. if a part fails due to your own engineering quality, or your driver hits the wall, or your drivers collide with each other, the costs of that count towards your busget cap. If you want to replace a crash-damaged rear wing with the new faster model, the cost of that comes out of your budget cap. But if Hamilton and Verstappen have a coming together, regardless of who you think is at fault, those repairs should be free of cost caps provided it is identical spec parts used in the repair. The driver at fault will still get penalty points, drive throughs, etc, and it isn’t much consolation if one driver ruins the other’s race, but I think it avoids the potential unfairness of the cost cap.

      2) Even if they are exempt from budget cap rules, the cost of repairs can hurt small teams far more than the teams with deep pockets, especially if, say, a Ferrari nudges a Williams into the barriers, breaking an endplate on the Ferrari but destroying the Williams wings, floor, etc. A fair approach to this would be like a community insurance scheme, with each team required to put, say, $20m into the repairs fund for these like-for-like repairs. Again, you cannot compensate the driver who has had his race ruined, but at least you are limiting the damage to that race, not the double whammy of a lasting impact on available budget.

      Those are just ideas off the top of my head, and I’m sure they have flaws, but I think it shows there are things that could be done to make the cost caps fairer. If so many fans can see the unfairness caused by the current cost cap rules, surely the FIA/Liberty can see this too.

      1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        11th October 2022, 16:48

        When the stewards find a driver predominantly to blame what percentage of the crash cost should a team incur?

        1. In my opinion, the blame element shouldn’t come into it. If it is a crash involving drivers from two or more teams, let each team replace their damaged parts with exact replacements without it being charged towards the budget limit, to avoid teams being penalised by the budget cap rules. If the stewards think one driver was predominantly to blame, they have the means to punish that driver with a range of sporting penalties already. If you get into the realms of one team having to pay another’s crash damage then there will be court cases every weekend. I don’t want to see that.

  12. “This is Masi-ve news” …. Toto

    1. Brilliant !

    2. “It’s called cheating, Toto…”

  13. Cheats. They should be excluded from both championships and, assuming technical carryover to this season, receive additional points deduction to suit the overspend.

    A cost cap was brought in for a reason. If the WDC or WCC winning team can exceed it by 1 cent it’s a worthless exercise.

    Let’s hope the punishment is suitable.

    1. Yup there should be a punishment, but I would also like to know the whole Ferrari deal now everybody is honest and…..investigation how on earth it’s possible that Wolff and Binotto knew this already and have been screaming about this for a week. There is a leak and that’s not ok either.

    2. Yes, that sounds like an objectively fair punishment for a minor breach.

      1. That’s about as fair a punishment as shooting someone in both kneecaps for speeding 1 mph. Hope you don’t work in law enforcement anywhere.

        1. Meant for JC of course

  14. The addition of bullet points probably caused the delay. That’s a very comprehensive statement. Well done, FIA!

  15. I remember when Vettel got DQ’d for having a “minor” fuel infringement.

    Same again for Lewis who got DQ’d from
    Qualifying for a “minor” 0.2mm wing infringement.

    Only 1 team breached, the 1 team that won the drivers championship.

    Wait for F1 to cover up this financial doping. As for Horner, can’t trust anything that comes out of his mouth.

    1. As for Horner, can’t trust anything that comes out of his mouth.

      Is that a recent conclusion for you?

    2. Or when Schumacher was NOT dq’d, over a barge board infringement. It was only a little bit illegal, and they let it pass.

      1. The barge board was within the prescribed tolerance.

  16. The cynic in me says they’ll get 20 points deducted for this season so it sets a precedent but doesn’t change anything. I honestly can’t see the FIA coming down hard when they didn’t have the common sense to set penalties in advance. They can’t just see what happens and make up a penalty later.

    On too of that Red Bull and AM are just the ones who messed up and got caught. I’ve no doubt that Ferrari and Mercedes are trialling a lot of random technology on their F1 style hypercars. As I say, maybe I’m just a cynic…

    1. This is where I think FIA is heading. A constructors penalty point deduction big enough to be a warning to others but not big enough to take away their 2nd place. Thus changing nothing..! Grrrrr

    2. I’ve no doubt that Ferrari and Mercedes are trialling a lot of random technology on their F1 style hypercars.

      But RB isn’t doing it with its Valkyrie @glynh? So, basically, the good Austrian versus the evil Italians and Germans…

      1. @x303 That’s what I said, they’re all doing it. Red Bull are just the ones to get caught. There’s no good and bad guys in F1, just thousands of people exploiting every loophole on and off track as they have since the start of Formula 1.

        I’m some ways I admire it, in another it’s quite sad…

  17. So, the investigators did not investigate anything, but decided to add certain numbers provided by the teams themselves?
    And certain teams might have given completely false amounts and are declared in compliance, while another team gave a free lunch too often and are not in compliance any more? If 350 people a day get a free 13$ lunch for 220 working days, the team spends a million bucks extra. So no more free lunches for Jack and Liza.

    1. So, the investigators did not investigate anything, but decided to add certain numbers provided by the teams themselves?

      That surprised me as well; I though they used 2020 financials as a dry run.

      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.

  18. If RBR are getting fined 1 or 2 million I bet they’re gonna cut down on hospitality, rather than on car development.

    1. That may not be as far fetched, as it seems. We don’t know how the cap rules are worded, so maybe, ( being a procedural issue), that’s exactly how the cap will work, cutting expenses on catering, and leaving car development alone. Time will tell, I guess.

    2. No more free Red Bull?

    3. If they get a harsh punishment, they might not show up at the next three fly-away races to make sure they don’t overspend in ’22… The FIA would like that, you guess?

  19. Great. So they delayed the announcement of what everybody already seemed to know on Tuesday, from Wednesday to today. And so now that they’ve announced it, nobody is any the wiser as to what will happen next.

    1. Well since it appears that the announcement was delayed to allow Max to win the championship – especially given all the other bizarre happenings yesterday to allow that to happen…

      I expect it to be politically manoeuvred away from the headlines over a period of a couple of weeks, followed by a fine and an announcement that Red Bull thoroughly co operated and won’t do it again. While we remain none the wiser as to the scale of what they actually did, and how tainted Max’s 2 championship campaigns were – even before Masi decided the 21 championship.

      I trust the FIA to apply the rules properly as much as I trust Horner to give a straight answer to any given question.

      The last 2 seasons have been the most farcical I can remember… At least since the 2 Benetton championships in 94 and 95.

      1. I love the conspiracy theory @sham but I feel like you maybe onto something…. :)

      2. I can’t agree more, even Mazepin could have won the championships in that RB because of this minor breach and one wrong decision from Masi. Max is a talentless driver and in no way deserving of being a champion.

        I endorse these totally objective statements.

  20. limitations of aerodynamic or other testing or a further reduction of the cost cap.

    Reduce aerodynamic and other testing by the overspend %. Also reduce their next cost cap by the overspend amount.
    In case of another breach… double these %s and amounts and deduct as much % of their point as much % they’ve overspent.

    Giving them a FINE for OVERSPEND would be the most ridiculous decision. So I expect just this decision. Except if the fine is to be paid from their capped budget. Then there is some logic behind it.

    1. @f1mre – The Daily Mail reported last week that it was a minor breach of less than $1m with a procedural issue as well. So far, they’ve got 2/3 right…. If it is less than $1m, that means they’d lose less than 0.7% of their testing and budget.

      1. Fair enough. The punishment should fit the “crime”.

  21. In other words, Red Bull definitely exceeded the 145 million allowed and exploited the 5% additional threshold? Other teams should have done and will be encourage to do the same now if minor penalties are applied. As a result, the FIA apparently believe that spend an additional 5% of 145 million, has no effect on team performance? Even though this will be referred further. I smell Mercedes and Ferrari will be unsatisfied and furious if no penalties are handed out to Red Bull.

    I bet teams will now be encourage to do as identical as Red Bull.

    1. I bet teams will now be encourage to do as identical as Red Bull.

      What makes you think they don’t already do? It might just be that Red Bull has better people on (for instance) their strategy team than they have on accounting and they dropped the ball there.

      1. Because 7 of the 10 teams were compliant, 2 made paperwork blunders and 1 cheated.

    2. I bet teams will now be encourage to do as identical as Red Bull.

      looking at the designs by other teams thats already happening.

    3. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
      10th October 2022, 20:46

      If teams do a minor breach year after year. that minor breach can be upgraded to a major breach if they continue to go over in multiple years. That should discourage repeated infractions. First lets see how close to the 5% they are. If teams are fined for breaches, I do hope the fines count against their cap.

  22. Allowed a bit of extra time to massage the figures into being a ‘minor breach’

  23. What annoys me the most is that there isn’t a black and white penalty in the rules for this. Why is it always open to interpretation? Why couldn’t they say, (for example), for every $10k you are overspent, you will lose 1 point… or if you are more than $10m overspent, you are excluded, or banned from the next season, or some races next season?

    I don’t really care what the penalty is, but I feel strongly that there should be one and it shouldn’t be open for discussion as to what the penalty is.

    1. Agree, if its really clear there should be clear penaltys to cope with it.

    2. Agreed, but if such penalties were in place they would they actually be able to apply them after all the appeals, legal wrangling etc.

    3. Completely agree. Penalties should be known in advance. Would Red Bull have overspent if they knew they would lose points if found out?

      1. When have we ever known the penalties for anything except an infringement of the technical regulations in advance?

        The FIA seem to like keeping everything murky and avoiding setting any long term precedents. Whether this is just because they like the power of being able to decide on a whim exactly which penalty they’ll pull out of their backsides today, they’re inconsistent, or something more nefarious is left for everyone to decide for themselves.

        The regulations, on this and many other areas, could results be worded in such a way which leaves no doubt. Instead, the officials get to pick and choose, without guidance or oversight, and everyone just has to guess how they’re going to interpret the rules this time.

    4. Yes Ben, I was never a fan of the budget cap rule, but it is crazy to have a rule with no clear idea what the penalty will be. I don’t like the idea of rewriting the 2021 season a year later, but equally I think applying 2021 penalties in 2023 is crazy in F1. If you had given Ferrari a choice, come second this year and second the following year, OR…., win the championship this year, have a bad year next year, for sure they would take the win. No-one remembers second placers. If the penalty for budget cap overspend was applied in a future year, teams would quite cynically overspend and regard it as a legitimate exploitation of the rules.

    5. @ben-n That would severely limits the FIA’s ability to issue a very specific penalty, or to play politics.

      Administrating racing series is just one of the things the FIA does; it’s very much a quasi-governmental meta-organization with dozens of national sporting and motoring club as its constituent members, tons of lobbyists, special interest groups, and wide ranging concerns that differ from one member organization to another.

      Being labelled ‘cheats’ is a serious business concern for Red Bull. That instantly gives the FIA massive leverage – and one only has to ask Ferrari if the FIA is afraid to use it. They’re just very murky about it, and they know that F1 is their cash cow. They’ll ‘work something out’. That’s how they roll, and having strict rules makes that impossible.

    6. And risk losing Ferrari? Never!

  24. Wrong.
    Minor overspent breach can lead to Financial Penalty and/or Minor Sporting Penalty.

    This article left out the possibility of Financial Penalty only.

    1. So, how will Max’s fans feel if he keeps these tainted championships with just a fine, and then Mercedes or Ferrari overspend to win next time?

      That I would love to see.

      1. So, how will Max’s fans feel if he keeps these tainted championships with just a fine, and then Mercedes or Ferrari overspend to win next time?

        If Mercedes or Ferrari do it, then it will be labelled as “cheating” because.

      2. @sham Some of the Orange T a l i b a n on here will just blame Lewis, deny all facts, and crow loudly about their object of adoration. Just like any other day really.

  25. It’s a big shame that FIA didn’t determine clear penalties before. Now they can hide behind the ‘first year’ excuse.
    The procedural part is maybe not that big an issue (it wasn’t for Williams), but overspending by up to 5% is a big thing.

    The minimum needs to be taking the budget overspend away form this year, with a similar penalty on top (thus if overspending by $7.5M, then reduce this year’s budget by $15M).
    But taking away Championship points (more likely constructors than drivers) should be seriously considered as well (similar to what they did to McLaren).

  26. The penalty will decide how convenient it will be for teams to simply breach the limit to get that advantage.

  27. For me, this breach is analogous to a doping offense.

    They cheated, enhanced their performance and could see a longer term benefit from that cheating (i.e. they’re not going to forget what they learned with that $5m.)

    I have no doubt the FIA will bottle giving them an appropriate punishment (imo disqualification from 2021 WDC and reduction in budget going forward) ….F1 could end up being like cycling in the 90s .

  28. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    10th October 2022, 17:22

    How ironic would it be if the FIA decided Red Bulls budget ran out after Jeddah and so exclude them from Abu Dhabi 2021.
    That whole incident would have been for nothing.

    But alas, it’ll be a fine for spending too much money. A classic F1 nothing penalty.

  29. crazy are the ones who care. F1 for me these days are the cars and sometimes the racing.

    I barely stand everything else.

    They have 10 teams and don’t want anybody else. If they’re too harsh, Red Bull threatens to leave and they can’t do anything about it. So they can’t even apply proper penalties anymore.

    1. If they’re too harsh, Red Bull threatens to leave and they can’t do anything about it.

      That’s not entirely true. In the Concorde agreements, the teams commit to enter a fixed amount of championships. If they withdraw before the end of their commitment, they owe money to the FIA. The exact amount is confidential, but rumors had that for the previous agreement it was a hundred million per year. Leaving could just be too costly financially.

      1. That is peanuts for Red Bull but the sueing against the FIA can give Red Bull also a lot of money. It’s all in the finance which is a world of rules …. expect years of courts and the FIA lost 2 teams during those times.

        It will be a very minor fine as it’s the catering and sickleave (covid periode) which is very minor.

  30. Can’t see Honda being happy about being associated with a team that breaks the rules.

    1. They were happy enough aligning themselves with a thug who screams and shouts to a worldwide audience about m-ngols and r-tards, and a serial cheater and liar TP. So I wouldn’t be surprised.

    2. Didn’t Honda buy BAR in 2005 after they had been caught cheating…

  31. – Reduce their 2023 cost cap by the equivalent amount they overspent. Maybe reduce their wind tunnel time too.
    – Start 2023 with a constructors points penalty. I’d say 10 points for every million overspent. 25 if they want to REALLY make a statement.
    – For appearances, a hefty fine that will still be a drop in the Red Bull bucket.

    Plus these standards can be easily applied to any future breaches.

    1. @nerrticus issue with only giving penalties for the future is that it then sets the precident that if your in a close championship fight you can overspend to help win it and then get to keep it because the penalty won’t be applied for 2 years.

      If an overspend can be found to have benefited a team in Winning a championship then that championship has to be stripped from them. That is the only thing that will deter others from doing the same.

      1. That is never going to happen otherwise the FIA has to explain everything in court and Judges work with rules which are correct…

  32. Whatever they decide to do, it’s going to be a precedent. If you give a minor slap for overspending to one team, the other 9 are going to overspend when they need to. If you give a “it’s a first time misunderstanding, and we will punish future more severely”, teams will find a lot more “firsts”.

    The FIA and the teams knew the reality of a delayed decision when they agreed to introduce this system, so I’d assume applying retroactive penalties to the season audited are considered fair game.

    Regardless, I will keep munching on my popcorn for a bit longer until the penalties are decided.

  33. I’m sure I speak for all fans (except the British), we don’t care about this anymore.

    1. You should. A lenient penalty means that other teams will do the same next time.

      The FIA must come down hard on this, for the sake of F1

      1. Indeed they will. There has been cheating in this sport for ages. But when you are a title contenter, you simply don’t get a penalty. Certainly not one changing past results. We would have to scrap half of Schumy’s WDC’s…
        And yeah, other teams should do the same next year, they would be stupid to not do so. F1 is all about finding loopholes.
        But I do understand that this is a hard to swallow pil for Hamilton fans

    2. I (a British person) jumped off my couch in excitement to get a closer look when Verstappen did the overtake on the last lap at Abu Dhabi. Nothing against Hamilton but I supported Verstappen all year. But I have zero problems if is loses the world championship over this.

    3. Can’t imagine that the Italians are overly happy!

  34. So why was this statement not aired last week??? I get the feeling we are being drip fed this info….We know the outcome will be minimal for Red Bull, however as the FIA seem hell bent on ruining this sport….let us see how the fans and teams react…and reading some of the comments on here…they are not happy

    1. But this forum attracts only a very small (but quite toxic) minority. Outside the UK this isnt even reported within the F1 context. I browsed a lot of global media and the most common note on it is ‘that there are some minor discrepancies between FIA and three teams of which the outcome is unclear but expected to not impact anything, especially since it is the first year experience is being built up with this cap concept. Seems like proper journalism to me to await the process to be finished first.

  35. No matter what FIA will do now, RB is far far ahead in the design and efficiency of the new rules and every gain they got with the overspending, we will have them as champions till the next big rule change.
    Well done FIA…

    1. @bluechris My suggesting is penalizing them by cutting their wind tunnel time. Suitable redress.

    2. And if you know Red Bull started on the 2022 just a few months before 2022 ….

  36. How much is minor exactly?

    Binotto says $5M is worth half a second a lap.

    1. Hahaha! So what was Ferrari’s excuse when they used to spend upwards of 50 million a year over the other leading teams?!

      1. They don’t need excuses for anybody but themselves if the rules allowed it.
        Toyota also wasted huge sums on that forgettable team on their day.

      2. Good pasta and sauce, can add up to big expenses. I saw the Ferrari mechanics’ lunch, along time ago. All I thought was, wish I would be invited to that banquet.

    2. Lol, of course he would say that.

      Looking at seasons where there was no budget cap I wonder how Ferrari was doing so poorly then. Guess money is not everything.

      1. Indeed, there’s absolutely no way 1 mil is worth 1 tenth based on the result of many teams, but especially ferrari.

  37. It’s strange how the team with the fastest car overspent, it’s almost like it gave them some kind of an advantage or something.

    1. It’s strange how the team with the fastest car overspent, it’s almost like it gave them some kind of an advantage or something.

      LOL.
      More warning next time please, I only just managed to avoid the mouthful of tea coming down my nose after the choke.

  38. If I’m the FIA, and Liberty, I can’t help but take note that Dietrich Mateschitz is very ill and the sole shareholder of 20% of the grid.
    Do I seriously upset him as he’s finalising his financial affairs, including what happens to the teams after he’s gone?

  39. This FIA needs to be replaced with another truly independent association. Made up from another international sporting regulatory body that acts and works within international Law. And the people that make the rules in said association should be adequately qualified in Law. Its becoming ridiculous. F1 is a laughing stock. But the oqnera dont care because its entertainment and entertainment brings in the money. I recall some1 said:”… Cash is King…” not far from the truth. Not far at all.

  40. The FIA will try to leverage RBR’s weak position after the breach to get something in return and will issue a meaningless penalty as a result results :
    – Constructor points deduction.
    – Budget reduction for next year.
    – Help the FIA on various initiative : diversity and inclusion, women in motorsport…

  41. I am amazed the figure has not been provided. Give me an estimate to the nearest million, round down to the nearest million if need be, but are we talking like $20,000 or $7 million overspend? There is surely no way they can try and justify a penalty, whether harsh or lenient, without giving an indication of the overspend.

    1. some of the “sources” that leaked the confidential info used figures between 0,3 and 0,7%
      So a minor breach indeed..

  42. I think any penalty given should be applied retroactively because if they do something that only affects them in the future then it sets the precident that in a close title championship fight you can overspend and get to keep it.

    Especially if it can be shown that an overspend helped bring performance that impacted the championship fight.

    I don’t care who the team is, For this cap to work and for teams to be discouraged from trying to play games with it the results of breaching it need to be harsh.

  43. Rbr knew this was coming, celebrations was muted on Sunday.

    So now to wait for the expected punishment.

    If I had to bet, Max won’t lose his title, why the sacrificing of Massi would’ve been for nothing.

    The tinfoil hat of mine reckons this could’ve been contrived but it’s a stretch.

    The level of respect FIA will have if they don’t make an example of overspenders will have a lasting effect.

  44. If its a procedural error that probably means RB and FIA disagree on witch costs should be reported under the rules. As it is a minor overspent then I don’t think the FIA cost cap administration will give a major penalty despite MB and Ferrari asking for a red card.
    If there is any reference it is 2007 spygate when the constructor championship points were effected but the drivers could keep their points and fight for the WDC

    1. The level of respect FIA will have

      Quite a bit lower than Liz Truss TBH.

    2. If there is any reference it is 2007 spygate when the constructor championship points were effected but the drivers could keep their points and fight for the WDC

      That would be the one where the drivers were in a car developed before anyone on the McLaren payroll saw even the wrapper of the package and the drivers had a severely underdeveloped car in the year following.

      Although, that said, one person seems to have known about the package at, or about, the time Stepney had it arrive. He left the team for Ferrari over the winter break. Strange that.

      1. @ steve There was much more communication than only the “package” check https://www.racefans.net/2007/09/14/alonso-de-la-rosas-emails-led-to-mclarens-punishment/

  45. Lol, they overspent on food, its a minor breach and probably a fine of some sort

  46. Public reprimands and/or fines are meaningless punishments. Especially in the case of a budget cap breach a team that is prepared to push the bounds of spending clearly isn’t going to be deterred by paying a fine. Paying the fine only legitimises an overspend/s.

  47. How F1 (and other so-called professional sports) can get away with scams like this without legal consequences is beyond common sense!

    1. Money, basically (more of it).

    2. Its a first iteration of a new process. It might be about $40,000. We just don’t know.

  48. 10secs penalty from both drivers and team points for 2021. Also deduction of overspend amount should be taken from 2023 budget.

  49. For the record, my understanding is the 2022 championship is officially safe for Verstappen, no matter the sanction. The rules only allow for a deduction of points “for the Championship that took place within the Reporting Period of the breach”. This Championship would of course be the 2021 season, and I don’t really see any way it could be argued differently. The only possible way I could see that change would be a “suspension from one or more stages of a Competition or Competitions, excluding for the avoidance of doubt the race itself”, with the suspension backdated to some 2022 races, but there’s also an argument that a suspension takes place in the future, and the final paragraph of this section of the article seems to suggest that suspensions can only take effect after the imposition of sanctions. In all honesty, I’m not entirely sure how it would turn out in court, though I would suspect 2022 is a safe championship for Verstappen.

    As I say, this is all just my interpretation, so others (especially lawyers!) may see it differently.

    I don’t really know where I stand on the penalties to be awarded. I agree with the sentiment of a aero testing and/or cost cap reduction next season, but I don’t really have an opinion about points deductions for 2021, so I guess I’m indifferent in that sense? In all honesty, I’ve tried my best to remove the ending of that championship from my memory, and learned to enjoy most of the races last season without looking at it through the context of the championship.

    1. Ah, right, I was thinking given it’s a minor breach and the first time they have a budget cap they could indeed give a cost cap reduction next season, I guess it should be more than the amount they breached, and they should make sure it doesn’t happen again and actually have a punishment in place in the rules that prevents teams from say spending 200 mil to win the title a season and sacrificing the next one. Even though money doesn’t guarantee success, as we’ve seen with ferrari, alpine, toyota etc.

  50. So the cost cap delay, obfuscate and hide saga continues:
    1 – How much was the actual “minor” breach? 5% covers a heck of a lot of territory: ± $0 to $7m! Will we ever know?
    2 – What “Procedural breaches” are involved in the RB and AM cases? While the Williams breach involved late submission of info, Article 8.2 of the FIA Financial Regulations gives the following example: “(e) submitting Reporting Documentation that is inaccurate, incomplete or misleading;“. Will we ever know?
    3 – The whole area of penalties has been left completely vague and the decisions have now been pushed further somewhere in the future. What principles and criteria will the FIA Cost Cap Administration base themselves on? Will we ever know? Remember, the latter will only present a

    summary…omitting any Confidential
    Information

    (Art. 6.32).

    }

    1. they are talking about 03.% -0.7% depending several sources but i think i will wait untill all parties are finished with this producure.

  51. Sorry but this is outrageous and the sport is already verging on becoming a farcical WWE clown show.

    FIA needs to Punish Red Bull and exclude them from the drivers and constructors championship for 2021 2022 plus restrict wind tunnel use for 2023 if not the sport risks going into disrepute.
    Why would outside investors like Audi or Honda waste money entering F1 as a constructor in hopes to win titles if a competitor can just break the rules when the reward(Winning WDC,WCC) outweighs token financial punishment.. the cost cap was introduced to stop spending getting out of control(Toyota spent an obscene $450m in 2008 and that was pre turbo hybrid drs era…) so teams breaching it should be taken EXTREMLY seriously because any amount over a relatively small 145m budget can give a huge competitive advantage.
    If drivers get disqualified for being less than 0.5 mm out of a regulated specification(Lewis Hamilton brasil 2021 for rear wing slot gap, Ayumu Iwasa F2 Monza feature race 2022 for plank wear) the driver is disqualified so how is going over a fixed financial regulated specification any different?

    Whatever the punishment will be or lack off as the FIA likes to throw controversy under the carpet and gaslight everyone that everything is business as usual this breach of the budget cap is another huge asterisk to add to Max’s 2021 and 2022 WDC plus 2022 WCC .

  52. Well that’s Horner’s libel case ruined…

    1. @slowmo Also his credibility blown to shreds. Well, OK, he had none anyhow.

      1. @david-br
        Well said ! Horner is a typical politician with no credibility whatsoever.

  53. That crash in Silverstone when Lewis tossed Max in the wall is what caused this overspending😎

  54. It is hard to believe the FIA intended to do anything significant in the first place-otherwise why would they rely on self-certified submissions from the teams. It is a farce and in present form, any team willing to weather a maelstrom of online hate will happily choose to cheat and win a title and apologise later.

    Revision of the past season’s standings/points would not have happened anyway since they were set on VER getting his 1st of many, and i think they waited for Max’s WDC this year as well. So, if they are to remain credible it has to be something that cripples RBR in 2023 and 2024 in a visible and significant way: Ban from the pre-season tests for 2 years and Practice sessions for the first four races in ’23 & ’24-A message that a ‘Minor’ offence will hurt you significantly in more than one future season-that is what a deterrent is(Brawn’s regulations have teeth comment).

    Also would need to re-name these breaches to something like Stage A offence, Stage B etc. Minor and Major just make it harder to justify the magnitude of any action in the eyes of the public and competitors.

    I am going to sit back and watch what MB and SF do now. If they really want to hold the FIA accountable, they will just decide not to turn up to the next few races saying the whole thing is tainted and decided anyway. More likely, big teams will secretly be allowed undisclosed settlements in terms of financial overspend and windtunnel time like when good ol’ Bernie was in charge.

  55. So the cat is out of the bag. Red bull cheated last season to win the title and have gained from that spending this season.
    what a turn of events??
    They must be fined. Nothing less than a 100 points deficit for each driver next season would suffice.

    1. have gained from that spending this season.

      how?
      each season has its own budget .

      1. Does it though? Were they developing the 2022 cars during 2021?

        Is the budget ringfenced for each iteration of the car or is it simple a spending cap for a set timeframe?

      2. @seth-space
        The rules are stable. So any advantage gained while developing the RB18 during 2021 will automatically cascade in all the RBR cars till the next rule change which is scheduled for 2026.

        1. The budgets for 2021 and 2022 are seperated. There is no gain from extra budget from 2021.
          They kept developing in 2021 at the cost of 2022 development.
          Mercedes started developing the 2022 model way earlier.

          I guess the extra mercedes induced costst (silverstone and Hungary) ate away the development budget for a part.
          But lest see what will be the real overspending and why it happened.
          The sources that leaked the confidential info mentioned about 0,3% till 0,7% overspending.
          We will see.

  56. So Wolff was right and Horner is full of it. What a surprise.

    As has been said, unless the FIA come clean, this could be up to 0.5s a lap advantage to RBR, if not more.

    1. So Wolff was right

      if true that would be a first.

    2. Sure. Maybe a 7-8 seconds / lap advantage.

    3. More like two tenths a lap, still more than enough to give Verstappen the title last season.

      If you simply look at last season qualifying times and add 2 tenths to Max’s time, he’s going to drop back at least 1 grid slot at pretty much every race.

      1. As a penalty, Mercedes gets to run The RB off the track at Silverstone. Oops, it’s been done before? Sorry, carry on.

        1. I guess they can take them out in hungary too and get to benefit from red flags to limit the damage of their mistakes, that should settle the minor cap breach issue.

  57. In a statement Red Bull said they reacted with “surprise and disappointment” to the FIA’s decision.

    I’m sure the real sentiments were ‘already knew’ and ‘relief that we got it sorted.’
    If the budget overspend was genuinely the amount specified, I’d say it was indeed relatively minor, worthy of the Red Bull team losing some points or – I’d suggest as a better penalty – some wind tunnel time. That would help counteract some of the relative small advantage the team gained over two seasons and going into a third.

    1. @david-br – hmm sorry Dave I can’t agree. They need to set expectations and example of any cost cap breach, 7 out of 10 teams did this without issue including the team they lost last years constructors too.

      1. @icarby Well, I’m not entirely sure I agree with myself either :)
        The thing is, without knowing just how ‘minor’ minor was, and where any extra finance was invested and when, it’s impossible to know how much difference was made in racing terms (0.5 seconds a lap? who knows). I did say they should be penalized, reduced wind tunnel time would be a way of limiting Red Bull’s development as compensation for the other teams. Better than points and/or a financial penalty. Though in addition, of course, to subtracting how much they went over from the following year’s total budget. Is that enough?
        I also have my doubts about just how much they spent over. If it took weeks of wrangling with Red Bull’s accountants to get to ‘minor’, it suggests FIA may have originally found them way over (a ‘major’ breach). Just speculation of course.

        1. @david-br – Well some reports that it was related to catering but I thought that the budget cap was related to car performance (may have got that wrong).

          We shall see if “human error” can be apportioned to this infringement.

  58. Tin foil hat time. The FIA let Max secure the ’22 title before announcing this because they’re going to DSQ RBR from the ’21 season. That way Max is still a WDC and they undo the damage from Abu Dhabi by giving Lewis his 8th. Tin foil hat off :D

    1. @tomd11 Possible if had been a major breach. But still unlikely. Removing Max’s title would generate uproar, litigation, a lot of unhappy Max/Dutch fans (and revenue) and possibly Red Bull threatening to leave Formula 1. As a minor breach, simply not going to happen.

      1. But conversely uproar if trivial slap on wrist. What to do FIA?

      2. That would just mean VW or Honda would get to buy them for cheap. F1 wouldn’t be losing a prestigious name like Ferrari, just a soft drink brand.

        1. And prestigious names don’t also cheat?

          1. At least Ferrari took their punishment for two years trundling mid grid. Wonder if RB would do the same.

    2. They won’t do that and I don’t think it would be fair on Max and I am a huge Hamilton fan, or fanboy if you prefer.

      They should either give EVERY team an extra $x to match RB overspend, or deduct that amount from RB cap for next season.

      THEN they need to apply a penalty AS WELL as even out any advantage gained by exceeding the cost cap.

    3. Nell (@imabouttogoham)
      10th October 2022, 23:38

      I bet it’s severe but not implicating the WDC/WCC.

      I’m guessing a few of the following
      -huge fine (they get the glory of the WCC but not the monetary reward)
      -suspended sporting penalty (basically saying don’t get caught again)
      -loss of development time (RBR can’t really undo their pace advantage, can they?)

      1. @imabouttogoham – How about you can’t use GoatNewey for 5 years (or his team)???

  59. I wonder if, spending $7.5 million more than anyone else is allowed to, is considered a more or a less serious offence than Vettel not having an extra half a litre of petrol in his car at the end of the race in Hungary last year. He was penalised 18 points for that one…

  60. Ah, I hate that. When you’ve saved a bunch of items in your basket, but when you go to checkout you realise the price has gone up. Must be what’s happened here with the ‘Bull. Inflation. Covid. Forgot to carry the one. Dog ate my homework..

    1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
      10th October 2022, 20:54

      The inflation bit was for the 2022 season… not the 2021 season these breaches are for!

  61. It would be really helpful to know where we stand on the 0% – 5% span. The number close to 0 % would suggest that Red Bull were simply on the margin and some unexpected expenses put them over the cap. Conversely, a sum close to 5 % would indicate that there was a prepared strategy to divert some expenses into an area where the RB though would not be covered by the budget cap. This should be crucial in the evaluation of the penalty for such infringement.

    The FIA better release this figure for transparency, and especially before they make a final verdict.

    1. Moreover, if the sum is really close to 5 %, it would point to the fact that Red Bull was conscious of this threshold between lesser and greater punishment, and were keen to be within the less stringent part if all things went wrong during the accounting process.

      1. Indeed, if it’s close to 5% that would raise further questions, ie did they know what they were doing and considered the extra money worth the penalty?

        I did hear it was around $2M but that was on Twitter so treat accordingly!

        1. I did hear it was around $2M but that was on Twitter so treat accordingly!

          Probably more reliable than the Daily Mail, who were being quoted elsewhere.

        2. Suspiciouly close to the damage they took because of merc..

  62. Let’s jump forward to this time next year… How far into their budget must RBR, or any other team for that matter, be for this (2022) season? I anticipate next year’s review of 2022 budgets being an even bigger storm. Developing in-season to new regulations this season must be more expensive than developing last season to a mature car design and older regulations, the majority of knowledge and development would have been gained in previous years. At this point nobody, not even the FIA, truly knows what the punishment would be. It’s case of suck it and see, hope the most leanient, ineffective punishment. As much as I am for the budget cap I can’t help but feel that it’s mission is likely only achievable or meaningful if the FIA are prepared to be authoritative with Olympic’s style stripping of achievement when said achievements are made parallel to when breaches occurred. The only solution would be a form of live monitoring if that would even be possible.

    1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
      10th October 2022, 20:56

      especially when you consider that RBR put a lot of effort on weight reduction… that is not cheap development work and from the sounds of it they did a lot of it so I’m curious how 2022 looks for them.

  63. Simple solution – deduct 5% of the total points that Verstappen and Perez got in 2021. That might alter the 2021 WDC points standings but fair’s fair, right?

  64. It surprises me that administration has been limited to reviewing the submissions made by the Competitors and that no full formal investigations were launched. So how do we know that other teams did stay in the cost cap other than to trust what they submitted. Apparently there is no real check.
    Also how can RB be so stupid to submit something that might be considered an overspend? Maybe they wanted to see how far they good stretch the rules and underestimated the consequences.
    Anybody know when the FIA cost cap administration will give their verdict?somehow I have the feeling it is already determined and agreed upon between the teams

  65. Funny that it’s a “Dutch” newspaper reporting that the overspend is based on free daily lunch and sick pay.
    Did they get that from quote from Max himself? Lol!

    So RB used a loophole in catering to be used on car development and they thought they would get away with it!

    If Ham get a DQ for a 0.2mm wing infringement then going over the budget deserves the same crime.

    1. Which doesn’t make sense since sick pay is already not included under the cap, so that can’t be it.

      Even then, if you were to spend $100m in development and $2 million in food and the budget cap is $100m, you didn’t go over on food, you obviously overspent in development.

    2. Technical infringements are black and white. It is either 2 cm or not.

      Financials are a very, very different thing. You can play with the numbers so much. And 10% of it will not be found for years maybe.

      I think people overestimate a couple of millions of breach. Of course rivals will say 1 EUR of extra spend means 30 seconds / lap. Where were they when there was no budget cap and had practically unlimited money? Well, Ferrari was nowhere.

      Make the punishment fit the crime. I.e. let them spend as much less as much they’ve breached the cap by. Also reduce their aero / whatever testing by the breach %. If they breach it again then double or triple punishment and maybe deduct points.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        11th October 2022, 3:25

        @f1mre okay, so how much did Red Bull benefit? can you quantify it? Is it 1 point or 10 points? The,point is they benefited illegally by breaking the rules over the entire season, not just one race. Imagine they ran a lighter car and dropped weight at the pits. This essentially happened at every race.

        Last year Hamilton would have won the championship had this not happened along with another 10 ridiculous other things.

        Hamilton can probably sue Red Bull for 100 million for cheating him out of his eight championship which he deserved and won on track.

        1. He didn’t deserve that championship, he simply drove worse and threw away more title, the best driver won it. Even with an overspending, we need to keep in mind these teams used to spend double, triple, what could they have realistically gained from a few mill? Hardly anything, do you really think they’d have been significantly faster with their typical 300-400 mil budget? So let alone with 150.

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            11th October 2022, 13:10

            @esploratore1 I think Hamilton said that they could have handily won the championship with a tiny amount.

            The fact is that Red Bull have been caught with an ace up their sleeve and they can’t hold onto the world championship anymore than any player who had an ace up their sleeve could hold onto the Poker World Championship.

            The championships are all gone at this point. That’s not even a debate. The question is how much of last year’s and this year’s prize money can Red Bull keep.

        2. They probably just learnt to be more efficient with the money they had available, like force india used to do before stroll came.

        3. more points*

    3. That is hilarious. I’ve saw the article and couldn’t believe it. They reported that mistakes were made with regard to non technical matters, such as catering and absenteeism due to illness and the employees at Red Bull’s factory in Milton Keynes get a free lunch every day !

      1. Nell (@imabouttogoham)
        10th October 2022, 23:35

        oh so that’s where that came from? That’s a ridiculous way to somewhat excuse the cost cap breaches.

  66. Our 2021 submission was below the cost cap limit, so we need to carefully review the FIA’s findings as our belief remains that the relevant costs are under the 2021 cost cap amount.

    I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised to hear that 3 of the teams somehow breached the Cost Cap regulations. It would be nice to know with a bit more precision what those breaches were. After all, one of the important aspects of these regulations is fairness to every team, so every team should know what mistakes or misunderstandings were made.

    1. @drycrust It has been reported elsewhere that Williams procedural breach is in fact a late submission of the documents. Financially, they are within the boundaries. I have no information about RB or AM.

  67. I’m wondering how to put a 5% overspend into context. I looked at the difference between the best lap time in qualifying and the best time of the slowest car at two tracks, Monza (the fastest) and Monaco (the slowest), for the 2021 season. In both races, Mazepin (Haas) was the slowest car in Q1. The best times were set in Q3 by Bottas (Merc) at Monza, and LeClerc (Ferrari) at Monaco.

    Monza 2021
    Bottas 79.555 seconds
    Mazepin 82.716 seconds
    Bottas was 3.9% faster

    Monaco 2021
    LeClerc 70.346 seconds
    Mazepin 72.958 seconds
    Leclerc was 3.7% faster

    I can’t think of any tracks which are markedly different in terms of grid spread. Assuming I’ve got my calculations right, that would mean the gap between best car on the grid and the worst is about 3 to 4%, and of course the difference between the best car and second best car is massively smaller. At the pointy end, it only needs a very small improvement in pace to go from being a good car to a dominant car. So with that knowledge, saying that a 5% overspend is minor seems generous to say the least.

    Added to that, the effect of extra budget probably isn’t linear. Every team will have broadly similar baseline costs. They all need to spend the same amount of all sorts of things such as driver’s race uniforms, the fire extinguisher in the car, the roll hoop and halo, the wheel guns and the pit crews to operate them and so on, things which cost money, are part of the cost of going racing, and not an area where you can improve performance by spending more. The amount of budget left for incremental development during a season would be considerably less than the total $145m. So a 5% overspend, if it was all spend on in-season development, might mean that a team is spending 20% more on incremental development than it’s rivals, and that is surely not minor. I stress that I have no idea what any of the actual figures are in the Red Bull case or where they were spent, just pointing out that the FIA general stance of saying a 5% is minor is just too simplistic.

  68. When Max will be stripped of his gifted 2021 champion’s title?

  69. I love that a minor breach is up to $7.25 million. I imagine you can get a fair bit done with that! Haas might be able to afford Mick’s damage bill for example!

    1. I love that a minor breach is up to $7.25 million. I imagine you can get a fair bit done with that!

      If you recall, Fred Vasseur @ Alfa said that was over 3 (three) times his in season development budget, but a top team can shrug it off. That’s why the cost cap exists. That’s why exceeding it is gross cheating.

    2. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
      10th October 2022, 20:58

      that amount could replace 4 micks totaled cars.

  70. The whole budget cap itself is a stupid idea. There are so many issues with it. And review of the budget the next year of the championship- will cause a big embarrassment to FIA. Strip the championship from the winners? Every year they are at risk of this. Also- if they let it slide, every team will aim for 105% of the cap going forward. They will risk the punishment if they can get the trophy anyways.

    1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
      10th October 2022, 21:06

      I almost feel like teams should have their money in a account that the FIA has oversight on/access to. Then teams only can spend out of that account and has to provide receipts for every expenditure. FIA should have a cost tracking software where each team has their own unique project code to charge against. That way the FIA can track live throughout the season on each teams spending and before final official results are delivered. FIA has to sign off on budget results. Right now I think it would be easy for teams to hide money. The current way just takes too much time to assess not to mention difficult to review.

      1. Jonathan Parkin
        11th October 2022, 9:10

        This was my idea too.

  71. Oh my. 7 point penalty coming right up I guess.

    Also, Horner should have consulted his barrister before accusing others of defamation.

    1. Also, Horner should have consulted his barrister before accusing others of defamation.

      “Deflamation” I think was the word he used – probably to cover some of Marko’s more incendiary comments

      Unless he was so angry he could spit, and it was de-phlegmation :)

      1. Brilliant!

  72. Now because the punishment is not clearly defined, Redbull will get a slap on the wrist, maybe pay a fine or see a reduced cap in the future, and Max will keep the title.

    But Max’s first title will go down in history as stained by contravention of the rules, twice. Wow.. And to think that McLaren was disqualified from the 2007 championship for arguably less.

    1. But Max’s first title will go down in history as stained by contravention of the rules

      It won’t. The world is bigger than a small group of disappointed fans

  73. it’s pointless (no pun intended) to try to say that a minor infraction could not have had a major impact on the car’s performance. F1 is an intellectual endeavor and as such a small breach in the cost cap could have a monumental impact on the performance of the car and thus the championship. If, for example, the breach equated to an extra 100 hours of work by the engineering staff, people might say that 100 hours out of the total time spent on designing and refining the car is a drop in the bucket. However, what happens if someone in the team had a eureka moment in that 100 hours that they may not have had otherwise, and that leads to a significant improvement to the car? If it’s a conceptual breakthrough it could have been applied to last years car and all future cars. How do you adequately punish that? That damage is done and you can’t put the knowledge back in the bottle, so what’s fair to the other teams?
    In my opinion the punishment must be draconian otherwise there is no point in having a cost cap, because a team could cheat, pay the fine but maintain a “lasting advantage” that will reap rewards for years to come.

    1. If a minor breach has huge implications then it should not be labeled as minor breach. Since it is labeled as such your personal opinions don’t matter.

      Since teams with insane amounts of money haven’t had great results in seasons without the cap I think a lot of reasoning here is done with a certain bias.

      All of a sudden now 1 million can make a car go 0.3 seconds faster. How is it possible McLaren and Ferrari have not been able to do this in the past years then?

      1. Nell (@imabouttogoham)
        10th October 2022, 23:32

        a lot of pretty bad logical points here
        -minor breach can’t have huge implications?
        -1 million can make a car go 0.3 seconds fast
        -why can’t ferrari and mclaren be as fast as red bull?

        it just looks like a lot of bad reasoning to try and grasp someone’s head around this blatant systematic cheating

        1. the bad reasoning is why he reacts this way.
          leonard is right.. illogical reasoning for an administrative error seen as minor breach by FIA.
          But its always possible to see things that are not there i guess .

      2. You’re completely missing the point. Minor is based on the dollar amount. It doesn’t take into account what RB actually gained from the breach and its almost impossible to say what was gained by the breach. Because of that the penalty must be draconian. Do you know what was gained as a result of the breach? It could have been nothing, it could have been everything. And because the gain can’t be quantified the punishment must be extreme. Just like you can’t quantify the gains from steroid use so you bring the hammer down to try and discourage others from cheating too.

        1. Minor is based on the dollar amount? Where did you read that? That would me illogical. It would be like saying one murder is a minor crime because of the body count..

          And like I said in other comments, looking at F1 history when there was no budget cap some objective reasoning can be done. However, I read little objectiveness in these comments, mostly sour fans wanting to hang the enemy.

  74. This, ladies and gentlemen, is why the cost cap was always a terrible idea.

    Accounting, believe it or not, is a creative practice and Red Bull remain adamant that they’ve not breached the rules, while the FIA have ruled otherwise. This won’t be the end of the matter as accounting is an ever evolving practice. The people that will end up looking silly at the end of all this will be the FIA and F1.

    Motorsport is best with fewer rules and restrictions, not more.

    1. Indeed it will be courts ….

  75. After almost daily postings for an unbelievably long time, the Abu Dabhi 2021 / Masi controversy was already stale. It was fun while it lasted, watching the old brigade foaming in the mouth. And still some diehards putting asterisks in the championship. Surely forever. Well, new it’s double asterisks, or asterisk and obelisk.
    Now again, we have some new sinews to chew on. We’ll have daily postings and mouth foaming for the rest of the season, good fun but hey, nothing is going to change. Specially both WDCs.
    For all I care, the FIA could give both titles to Kimi, Nando or my granny, better yet, pile up two more titles on El Chueco and make him seven. Just keep them well away from Merc and I’ll be happy.

    1. or asterisk and obelisk

      Marry me

  76. In other news, Red Bull have sent in full race results for Max’s upcoming championship-winning seasons. “We have carefully reviewed our submissions, and they clearly show us winning everything forever” stated a spokesentity. F1 announced they would hold a “full inquiry” (PR and press briefing), and announce the result (in RB’s favour) sometime in the next century or so.

  77. Just makes the problem more complex. For example large clients of large law firms have codes and sub codes on the billing entries to make sure the firms spending can be tracked carefully to the dime. But the firms and attorneys are using the best possible narratives to fit the category/coding most beneficial to them. Some clients have software to “read” their bills to smoke out shenanigans because it’s not always going to be apparent to the naked eye.

    1. Reply to Hiland

  78. It”s actually quite simple:

    They breached the cap

    They breached it in the 5% bracket

    Deduct 5% of the drivers points in 2021, if my math is close MV then gets 375.5 points for 2021

    As this breach is also giving them a huge cumulative advantage in 2022, start by a 5% deduction in driver points so far in 2022, or to date total points of 347.7, and 5% for the next 4 races

    If they also breached the 2022 cap, apply and additional 5%

    Apply this to the constructors point system as well

    Continue til the new regulations come out in whatever year that happens, 2026? 28?

    If we lose Red “BULL”, I am sure Honda would be most happy being affiliated with Andretti Motorsports, or a half dozen others

    :) Forrest Gump

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      11th October 2022, 0:25

      @forrestgump penalties don’t work that way – if you steal from a bank, do you just return the money or spend 20 years in jail and return the money?

      Essentially Red Bull stole from every other team.

  79. Surprise… Or not..,.
    Now let’s make a secret deal and don’t take points from anybody!

  80. Great punishment: Red Bull has to pay all the other teams the amount they overspend. The teams get to use this on top of the budget cap.

    1. I just posted the same idea. :-D

    2. so they serve free lunches during the year ;)

    3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      11th October 2022, 0:24

      clearly they won’t accept that – they have won championships by overspending. This is not a friendly sport where you just offer the other one a free lunch and we move on. The worst part is that it applies to 2 seasons as the gains are cumulative.

      Take away their top 5 races of the season for the team and drivers? That might actually be somewhat acceptable.

      1. They have won championships by overspending less than 5%?

        Again, these are insane claims looking at F1 history. But let’s let the FIA decide and actually look at the facts.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          11th October 2022, 13:02

          It doesn’t matter how much they’ve overspent. It’s the same as running a car that’s 5% lighter for a season or even 1%.

          The fact is that they overspent and that spending was obvious on track where the Red Bull was the best car for 2 seasons, right? That’s the view the FIA and the paddock will adopt and you can’t just take 5% of the points away because everyone will then decide if they want to overspend and take a tiny penalty.

  81. I don’t think they should penalize Red Bull in this season (points deduction, exclude team or driver, etc.). This will be bad for the sport. Also, they are considering it a “minor” breach.

    The idea of the budget cap is to give a chance to smaller teams, so I think a better approach is to make this an opportunity to the ones struggling to make ends meet.

    What about making Red Bull Racing pay the same amount they exceeded to every other team, at the beginning of the season, in order to be allowed to race in 2023?

    Overspent “just” $1 million? Fine (pun intended)! Just pay $1 million to Williams, Hass, McLaren, etc. Oh! And by the way: this fine counts towards your cap in 2023. So now you just spent $19 of your $145. Good luck!

    1. If you asked Red Bull ‘do you want a cash injection now during one of the closest championship battles in history but pay back ten times later’ it would be reasonable to say yes. If you could choose between your main driver finishing 2nd three years in a row or 1st and then 3rd and 3rd over those three years, I suspect almost all teams would go for the latter

    2. Considering their 2021 budget included developing the 2022 car then why shouldn’t they?

  82. Just $1million? All of you get 145 of these widgets to work with except RB, they get 146. No big deal.
    And let’s not forget, RB actually has 2 teams, so they actually have double the development money as the other teams, and it still wasn’t enough for them. Looked like TSU and GAS were testing the next brake design for RB this weekend.

  83. To be honest I’m actually surprised more teams weren’t found in breach, because like everything in F1, and finance for that matter, the financial rules are open to “interpretation”.

    Every year, some smart designer comes up with an interpretation of the technical rules that is judged “within the rules” and we get a car that is well ahead of the pack.

    Why would it be any different for their accounting returns? It’s clear that RBR “believe” they are within the rules. The FIA disagreed.

    What the FIA doesn’t seem to have ever got right is a clear set of rules AND a clear set of penalties for not complying with them. This will in turn now create controversy after controversy – good for the media and the overall “marketing” if you could call it that. Not so good for the fans, but not unexpected.

    1. FIA trust the figures as presented by the teams. They do not check or control these figures.
      Thats the strange part of this story. So RBR presented figures seen as overspending by FIA.

  84. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    11th October 2022, 0:20

    There’s only one course of action here. You can’t pay a 7 million dollar fine when you can’t make the case that you didn’t win the WDC with that extra money. You also can’t keep P2.

    Can you keep P3? What about this season? The gains are cumulative and apply to two seasons.

    Do you just outright disqualify Red Bull in 2021 and 2022? That’s harsh but I can’t think of anything that would be considered acceptable by the rest of the paddock.

  85. The level of pearl clutching in these comments is stupid. More tribalist nonsense.

    1. when the fia excludes cars for having 200ml not enough fuel, this is not pearl clutching.

    2. Staggering indeed. The result of Toto’s smear campaign. We actually still dont know if it was just $10,000 above. Welcome to the post Trump era.

      1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        11th October 2022, 10:56

        Except Toto was correct that ORBR did breach the cap regardless of the blabber mouth that gave him the information.

        1. Very worrying stuff there is this connection between a team and the FIA. I would call it a competitive advantage and cheating, equal to an overspend situation. Who knows what WCCs Mercedes has won because of their ties within FIA.

  86. 2021 just keeps on giving. What season though! Shows off how bad this season is.

  87. The way this should be in my eyes is this:
    Forfeiture of prize money this year and reduction of money available to spend next year by the amount they overspent.
    And then they should make teams submit their spendings every month. Not only sfter the yesr is over

  88. That is not minor and deserves exclusion from both the 2021 and 2022 championships.

    1. I fully agree.

    2. For 100k? Seems odd, they just said 5% is the max, they didn’t say the amount.

  89. I’ve seen the suggested punishment that RBR staff lunches must now be vegan and prepared in close consultation with Lewis Hamilton.

    1. Sounds great, they’ll certainly be a lot healthier!

    2. I think they’d rather hand back the titles and quit F1 😂

      1. Don’t be so sure! Agree with the punishment considering hamilton was their main opponent.

  90. Doesn’t matter what the FIA do, or anyone else does during races, across a season etc, folks here and Team Principals will bitch and moan regardless.
    The FIA have an issue to deal with as this CONFIDENTIAL info was leaked weeks back.
    Teams have issues as the rules are apparently open to interpretation, and the current rules have wiggle room, which the FIA has to respect.
    If there is an allowance for 5% (or whatever) over at some cost, then that is part of the rules and therefore hasn’t been broken.
    If the rule is deemed insufficient/flawed it has to be changed for future, but cannot be applied retrospectively. Remember they all agreed to it.

    if the speed limit on your road is 100 with an error margin of 5% and your actual speed is 105 you are not speeding.

  91. Lance Armstrong was stripped of all his Tour de France titles, The IOC routinely strips athletes of their medals if they find they engaged in doping or other issues. Why can’t the FIA take a harsh stand on this? 7 millions is not exactly peanuts when you consider the advantage it can give you. 2021’s title was already laughable with that huge asterisk hanging over its head and now this. It is deplorable and makes a mockery out of the whole sport.

    1. Why can’t the FIA take a harsh stand on this?

      They can – but they won’t.
      I think it’s important to note that motorsport is different to other (mostly individual) sports. Especially those that are based on pure human performance and not on active machinery.
      Nobody is banned or penalised in those other sports due to spending too much money on training, food or travel, either.

      F1 makes a mockery of itself quite well even without this stuff.

  92. Mclaren in 2007 was stripped of its WCC, Ferrari was effectively demoted to the midfield for 2 years 2020,2021 and also no championship was won by them. In that light I can’t see a way RBR keeping 2021 wdc (which was already questionable) and both titles this year and at the same time FIA insist that justice was served. Also I think RBR is overestimated politically, their only play is threaten to quit but VW can step up and buy the whole operation. And last but not least public crying of Horner and Marko will be a sight for sore eyes.

  93. Am I the only one who doesn’t care at all?

    Max took the challenge to Ham last year through all the ups and downs and beat him. Simple as that!

    A few million does little more than replace a couple of damaged cars these days, its hardly going to change anything about ultimate performance.

    Besides no team is going to blatantly overspend knowing full well the scrutiny they’d be under.

    1. Am I the only one who doesn’t care at all?

      You’re not. I don’t either.
      Red Bull publicly stated (months ago) that they weren’t planning on staying within the budget, and were expecting their rivals not to as well. Horner made it quite clear that it was a strategic element – simply because it really is. That’s exactly why they (the teams) made sure the ‘minor breach’ aspect of it was implemented in the regs.
      They also know full well that the FIA won’t penalise them harshly enough for it to actually cost them anything substantial, because that would inflict more damage on F1 as a series (and brand) than it would to the individual team/s involved.

      Anyone expecting the FIA to suddenly grow a spine and some teeth are only kidding themselves.

    2. The best driver often does not win. If the driver lost a world championship because they had an illegal wing in one race then we should all accept that they came second. Same should apply here if the overspend was significant.

      1. Of course, we all know that technical regulation breaches are hard-lined – while sporting breaches (this includes financial) are handled much more softly.

  94. I am running out of popcorn. This comment section is hilarious.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      11th October 2022, 10:57

      And all you could come up with is a poke at Toto, so you have nothing constructive to add.

      1. Maybe it’s denial, part of the grieving process, finally realising that it’s RBR who are the cheats?

        1. It is clear now they overspend, which is never a good thing. But you have to admit the disproportional reactions here are hilarious. We actually still dont know the details nor amount, but yet there is already a call to action to strip them from 2021 AND 2022 results (as if 2021 budget was used to develop the 2022 car in a transitional year). We might just be in a stage of the process where RB takes some lawyers to FIA, it goes back and forth and it turns out FIA was too hasty in their conclusion. We just don’t know. Yet like Trump showed us you can just vent anything out of frustration because your hero didn’t win last year. It all is really very funny as nothing will happen and these people will even shout louder and louder. Just look at the recent Ferrari situation with their fuel flow. Give it a year or 5 and all is forgotten. People should really grow more sense and patience towards topics instead of just spraying thoughts out of frustration. It does give a good insight in how the population is build up at the moment. It proves again our society has way bigger problems than a team overspending.

          1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
            11th October 2022, 15:37

            You seem to post about Toto though when this article is not of his doing.

            Maybe cool the rhetoric about other teams when article is not about them.

          2. That’s just because this IS about him but the people he played don’t realise they were played. Who started this narrative even before the official FIA announcement? Who with that made sure the perception of an incredible fraud was planted in the media before anything was known? It is in fact very relevant as the factual situation is that RB has overspend according to the FIA and RB does not agree. That is all. No amounts, no conclusion to the process yet. The sensible thing is to wait and hope we get more details.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      11th October 2022, 23:05

      Season of catergate coming up!!!

  95. Lewis got DQ for a 0.2mm wing infringement so going over the cost cap deserves the same punishment carlos slim jr and max needs to be disqualified from the 2021 season and massive points deduction for 2022 due to the lasting advantage of going over the cost cap developing the car. FIA needs to send a strong message or the sport risks going into disrepute and teams breaking away.

    1. No Mikey! Nooo!!!!

  96. I think (a) the overspend should be published by FIA, (b) the ‘minor breach’ limit should be reduced to 3% and (c) any overspend should be automatically deducted from the team’s budget limit for the following year.
    In addition, there should be penalty that works to reduce any technical advantage obtained: the existing penalty options provide for both:

    – Limitations on ability to conduct aerodynamic or other testing; and/or reduction of the Cost Cap provided that the reduction specified shall only be applied with respect to the year following the punishment being handed out

    The limit on testing could again be proportional to overspend, maybe 10 times the percentage over (1% = 10% time reduction).
    The penalties would transparent, immediately known to everyone and non-negotiable.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      11th October 2022, 11:01

      The breach was for 2021. 2022 is now pretty much complete so what does it matter now if that budget is reduced. The money has already been spent for this year.

  97. It will be interesting to see how the FIA handles this. Still many unanswered questions:

    1.) How much overspend, and in what area/s?
    2.) Has the process involved time for a counter-interpretation by Red Bull, or is that still to come?
    3.) What precedent is the FIA going to set for this “minor” overspend breach?
    4.) Will the punishment retroactively impact the overspend season, the current season, or the next season?
    5.) Will the punishment be enough to deter teams from making future minor breaches themselves?

  98. I’d have written in the rules that however much you overspend as a percentage, you have the same percentage of points taken away from you for the season in question. Then for the next two seasons the cap is reduced by a set amount.

    Rules are rules. It might end up being a petty amount in the whole scheme of things but regardless the headline is that Red Bull Racing spent more than was allowed. So they cheated, won races and a driver’s title. Cheating gives you wings.

  99. One thing puzzles me a bit.
    A couple of years ago the top teams were spending around $300m a year. In just two years they have managed to create faster cars with plenty of sophistication with half the amount of money. So, where did they manage to spend the extra $150m+ a year and yet produce a car that is only about as good as one that has been produced for half that cost.
    There must have been some blinding parties….

    1. The big teams are still spending the best part of $300m per year – it’s just that a lot of that money is accounted for outside of the budget cap.
      And they could build substantially faster cars still for a fraction of the money, provided the technical regulations allowed them to.

      1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        11th October 2022, 17:57

        Salary to the drivers + salary to top 3 employees + PR + whatever I have forgotten that is not included = $155 for the likes of MB, ORBR and Ferrari. Clearly defined and accepted when the cap was introduced.

    2. They aren’t building faster cars. The 2021 cars were 2020 cars essentially, so budget cap is irrelevant to the base design. The 2022 cars are a new aero concept built from scratch so there’s nothing to compare them too, and thus can’t be ‘faster’. If the teams had endless budget they probably would be faster than what we have now though.

  100. To be blunt, I simply don’t believe the FIA here. The nearly a week’s delay in publishing the findings – made at the last minute – absolutely stinks when considering the breach (and that it was a major one) was common knowledge in the paddock.

    My guess would be the delay was caused by negotiations with Aston Martin, who wanted their own breach to be downgraded like Red Bulls was.

    And to an extent it doesn’t matter if this is true or not – the cultural obscurity and dishonesty of both the FIA and Red Bull mean the reputational damage is going to be done anyway, and will last for a very long time.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      11th October 2022, 13:18

      @fluxsource I’m equally surprised that the FIA has been able to prove it so quickly but clearly they had a smoking gun situation here. These are hard to prove and once proven there’s absolutely no ground for Red Bull to stand on especially given their improved performance. This is probably the tip of the iceberg and just having that is sufficient. It’s not the size of the offense, it’s the intention. Many may say the result is irrelevant. I would be against Red Bull receiving a disqualification for 2 seasons and the championships both being removed.

      I think they should be lenient and take away the results of their top 5 races for the past 2 seasons for the team and drivers with an added 10% budget reduction next year. Hopefully, the paddock can accept that.

      1. There’s no proof that additional money spent actually translated to performance. There’s also no proof of their intention.
        The FIA can’t punish for either of those things.

        The only thing they can apply a penalty for is a minor breach of the financial regulations – regardless of what may have been gained by doing so.
        Same as on the track – a penalty is for the action, not the consequence.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          11th October 2022, 15:32

          What on earth are you talking about? Even if Williams had overspent and come last in the championship, they would still receive a major penalty. Red Bull suddenly winning 2 championships in a row after overspending is a clear indication that the money made a difference and it affected both Mercedes, Ferrari and their drivers.

          Do you prefer disqualification of team and drivers for 2 seasons which is the most common penalty for any infraction that can yield a sustained advantage and is a clear violation of the rules? The championships are gone at this point. There’s no way any of them are being kept.

          Hamilton can sue Red Bull and the FIA and would most likely win without even heading to court. If Hamilton gets his championship back with a check and an apology, do you think Ferrari won’t ask for Leclerc’s championship and the team’s WCC this season?

          The warnings were clear from Brawn and they have to be upheld.

          It’s now just a matter of how much money can Red Bull hold onto and leniency from the FIA.

          1. Even if Williams had overspent and come last in the championship, they would still receive a major penalty.

            Only if they overspent by more than 5%. They’ve set the system up with minor (5%) breaches and appropriate penalty choices within those.

            Do you prefer disqualification of team and drivers for 2 seasons which is the most common penalty

            You’ve pulled that out of thin air. There is no ‘common’ penalty in F1 for this because it hasn’t happened before.
            Apart from that – being a minor breach, it will attract a minor penalty. It almost certainly won’t be a loss of championship points that changes the result of the previous championship. That would be a self-inflicted disaster for F1 and the FIA’s credibility to run a top level racing series.

            Hamilton can sue

            That would be very entertaining, but ultimately entirely wasteful. He’s got nothing to do with it.
            You have a very vivid imagination. Just a little too focused on Hamilton, though….

    2. To be blunt, I simply don’t believe the FIA here.

      Smart.

      the cultural obscurity and dishonesty of both the FIA and Red Bull mean the reputational damage is going to be done anyway, and will last for a very long time.

      That’s funny…. What is the FIA’s reputation?
      History shows you shouldn’t have a particularly high opinion of them – they have always done their thing, their way. As is their right, of course, as they have nobody to answer to. They have full ownership and administrative rights over F1.
      Ultimately, the paddock show their acceptance of it with their entry to each F1 season.

      All the threats that have been made over the years, and still nobody has shown any genuine interest – never mind taken actual steps – in starting an independently run competing series.
      Sadly.

      1. S – I mean, you’re absolutely right. None of us should be surprised by any of this. It’s not going to stop me getting angry about it though.

  101. I’m not sure how this should play out. Some say a 0.2mm technical infraction is a dq. (And I agree) so RBR should get a penalty for going a dime over the limit. That analogy is difficult to me. Some say this is basically a procedural type of issue not a sporting one and they should lose the equivalent of draft picks or pay a fine like with the NFL or NBA in this situation. But in other sports a sprinter can lose a title if found to have recently smoked a (legally obtained) joint. I don’t envy whoever has to make this call. There is no clear principle or practice to guide the situation.

  102. Newey is freelancer, so FIA states he couldnt be considered as employee. Red Bull states he is an employee, and next to Horner and Marko, one of the three top earners of the company.. That’s it.. Newey is one of the bigger reasons, Red Bull managed to produce a competitive car, he’s worth any way too much within this budget cap rules, for any team that is. Red Bull should be punished for having this guy working for them. They only paid him 6 million last year, that’s a joke. F1 is no place for the best of the best.. Newey is too good, the same goes for Verstappen. This Red Bull team is just not fair.. Anyway, I like this story much more then the actual racing. I hate it when a driver makes a fantastic defensive move in a race, or when someone overtakes another driver from the outside in rainy weather, yikes. Give me Toto, who blames other teams, no matter what. That is what f1 really should be like. I heard Trump is considering to invest in Liberty Media..

    1. You got it. This overshadows the whole season of racing. Of coarse they want to find a way to give Ham his eight WDC. Whatever it takes. But the FIA is now scratching their heads how to solve this whole thing without damaging the sport. In the mean time we (fans) should watch F1. The races and the heroes. Other problems are for accounts and lawyers.

      1. Made some mistakes with my english

    2. Nice one! After the dust is settled on this one (verdict: no further actions necessary) I hope we do not get back to racing but launch a full investigation on how Toto could speak out of turn and what disciplinary measures should be taken to prevent this from happening in the future. Oh, no lets not do that since then we subsequently will focus on the dull racing again. Instead, let’s pay Toto to keep doing this (remember flexi floor gate? which was also a huge success despite it being about nothing really). Liberty and Netflix are probably already paying him or have promised him Dominicali’s role in the future.

  103. How does the FIA emerge from this with any credibility, though? They flat out refused to revisit Abu Dhabi and the 2021 championship. This paints them in a tough corner: if all they impose is a fine, that’s a message to the rest of the teams, especially the big-money ones: breach the cap, pay a fine but be in with a great chance to win the title. I think the only way for the FIA to stop that happening is to suspend Red Bull from the 2021 championship, more or less, making them forfeit everything they won and any prize money they received for that season.
    And then, how to handle this season? An overspend last season will have carried on into this year’s car as a development and upgrades advantage. This is partly why doping athletes are banned for long periods of time – so that the effects of performance enhancing drugs can wear off, else they give the athlete a lasting advantage. Even then, the advantage remains to an extent. How does the FIA handle it – do they raise the cap by the amount Red bull breached by for all the teams apart from Red Bull, ban Red Bull from wind tunnel time and any testing for next season, and then dock them constructors’ and drivers’ championship points this season?
    How does the Formula 1 remain a serious competition after Abu Dhabi and then this mess??

    1. FIA is not in trouble, just in the minds of those influenced by Mercedes. The process is just being followed. What we know is RedBull overspend. No amounts, no details. Just let the process unfold. The fact Toto spoke before his turn was deliberately to get exactly the situation which can be seen in all the comments above. It is a mind game. You have all been played. What Toto is after is that should there be no penalty or a lenient one he set up a crowd to complain about FIA and keep referring to RedBull as cheaters. All the while maybe nothing has happened but an overspend of $10,000 or so. We just dont know. Any sensible person would await the outcome of a process first unless you have an alternative agenda. Please dont be sheep.

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