Red Bull Fined $7M for Breach of FIA Budget Cap Regulations During 2021 F1 Season

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVOctober 28, 2022

AUSTIN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 23: The Red Bull Racing logo in the Paddock during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on October 23, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile announced Friday it levied a $7 million fine against Red Bull Racing for a violation of the FIA Formula 1 Financial Regulations.

FIA's Cost Cap Administration determined Red Bull underreported it's 2021 costs by £5.6 million, which created a £1.9 million minor overspend breach of the regulations' cost cap. RBR has agreed to enter an accepted breach agreement in wake of the violation.

"Red Bull Racing was found to be in breach, however, the Cost Cap Administration recognize that Red Bull Racing has acted cooperatively throughout the review process and has sought to provide additional information and evidence when requested in a timely manner, that this is the first year of the full application of the Financial Regulations and that there is no accusation or evidence that RBR has sought at any time to act in bad faith, dishonestly or in fraudulent manner, nor has it willfully concealed any information from the Cost Cap Administration," the FIA said in a statement.

The CCA's review found 13 areas where RBR either incorrectly excluded or improperly calculated relevant costs. If RBR would have properly applied its tax credit, it would have lessened its overspend, but it would have still been noncompliant by £432,652 (0.37 percent) against the FIA F1 cost cap.

Since RBR agreed to the ABA, it doesn't have the right to appeal the findings or punishment. Further noncompliance would be referred to the Cost Cap Adjudication Panel.

Along with the fine, RBR also received a 10 percent reduction in aerodynamic testing for the next 12 months, and it must cover the costs incurred by the CCA during its review.

All 10 teams must abide by the FIA F1 Financial Regulations, which were enforced for the first time in 2021, to compete in the sport's top division.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, the 2021 F1 champion who also recently clinched the 2022 title, told The Race's Scott Mitchell-Malm and Matt Beer the team didn't agree with the findings.

"It's just a bit frustrating," Verstappen said Thursday. "From our side, we feel like we are not wrong. Just some things are taken into the budget cap which are very unexpected, but we'll have to deal with it. It's not up to me to decide what's right."

Red Bull's decision to accept the ABA was meant to avoid more significant penalties, such as point reductions or limits on future budget amounts, according to The Race's report.

The 2022 F1 season continues Sunday with the Mexico City Grand Prix at the Mexico Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.

There are three races left in the campaign, which wraps up Nov. 20.