Did the FIA get Red Bull’s penalty for 2021 budget cap breach right?

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In the first year of Formula 1’s budget cap, one team was found to have spent more money than they were allowed to. It was therefore up to the FIA to decide how they should be dealt with.

This was an incredibly important decision, as a lenient penalty would have risked making the budge cap meaningless. Did the FIA get the call right when Red Bull overspent in 2021?

The sport’s governing body found Red Bull spent £1.8 million more than the cap permitted, breaching the limit by 1.6%. This happened partly because it omitted some items which should have been included in its cost cap submission, and when they were added its spending exceeded the cost cap threshold.

For the combination of the procedural error in complying with the cap and the “minor” (less than 5%) overspend, the FIA could have chosen any combination of the following penalties: A fine, reprimand, deduction of 2021 constructor points, deduction of 2021 driver points, suspensions from stages of competitions (but not races), restrictions on aerodynamic testing or a reduction of the cost cap.

The FIA chose to fine Red Bull $7m (£6m) and cut their permitted aerodynamic testing time by 10%. Was that a fair penalty?

‘Correct’

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer was among those who felt the FIA got the decision right given that Red Bull was only “marginally over” the spending limit. “I believe the punishment’s a good one, that the process was followed,” he said.

‘Harsh’

Unsurprisingly, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner felt his team was hard done by: “$7 million is an enormous amount of money,” he said, and the 10% cut in development time is “draconian.”

‘Lenient’

One critic of the FIA’s penalty was McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl. “The penalty clearly doesn’t fit the breach,” he said. “I just hope that moving forward we’ll have stricter penalties in place.”

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I say

I’ve always been sceptical that a budget cap could be enforced. The fact that one team out of 10 did not stick to it last year has obviously not changed that view. But it’s difficult to decide what I think is a fair punishment for a system I’m not convinced should exist in the first place.

The technical regulations work on the principle that if a team breaches them, they cannot defend themselves by claiming they did not gain an advantage. The penalty is typically exclusion. To my mind a budget cap should work in the same way: If you’ve spent more money than you should have done, some of that might have gone on development and therefore enhanced performance. However exclusion from the championship isn’t available as a penalty under the rules in this case.

Looking at the options available to the FIA, first of all it surprises me they chose to issue Red Bull a fine, which is not deducted from their cost cap for this year, instead of cutting their future cost cap limit. This was presumably done because, given the sums involved, Red Bull might have had to lay more staff off if their future budget cap was cut even further. Nonetheless, the fine means Red Bull have been able to effectively buy an overspend on the budget cap, which would feel like a poor precedent if that was the full extent of their punishment.

It isn’t, of course, because they also have a cut in their aerodynamic development limit. This performance-balancing rule, which handicaps teams based on their championship performance, is another unsatisfactory aspect of the current regulations. The FIA calls this a “sporting” penalty, which feels like an over-sell, as its effect is so intangible. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner puts its likely impact at “0.25 to 0.5 seconds”: A broad range and surely one which is on the pessimistic side.

A true sporting penalty would have directly applied to Red Bull’s achievements during the period they potentially gained from overspending, adjusted to the scale of the infraction. Of course this would have been hugely unpopular, especially if it changed the outcome of the world championship 10 months after it was decided. But, as impressively thorough as the FIA’s Financial Regulations are, the inevitable delay which comes with enforcing them is another reason why I didn’t agree with introducing a budget cap in the first place.

But accepting that it is here, probably to stay, in order to ensure future teams are deterred from exceeding the cap I think Red Bull’s penalty needs to be slightly stronger than what it is.



You say

Was the FIA’s penalty for Red Bull correct, lenient or harsh? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Was Red Bull penalty for breaching the budget cap correct, lenient or harsh?

  • Far too lenient (51%)
  • Slightly too lenient (27%)
  • Correct (14%)
  • Slightly too harsh (5%)
  • Far too harsh (4%)
  • No opinion (1%)

Total Voters: 264

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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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135 comments on “Did the FIA get Red Bull’s penalty for 2021 budget cap breach right?”

  1. Of course this would have been hugely unpopular, especially if it changed the outcome of the world championship 10 months after it was decided.

    Looking at the comments below the other article I’d say this isn’t that unpopular ;) but I’m afraid there’s one group of fans very vocal these days, so I don’t think that sentiment is completely representative per se.

    To me they could’ve added a constructor’s point deduction to the penalty. Even if it would’ve made no difference for last year’s results it would be more of a warning for the future.

    I’m also wondering, for everyone who’s calling for exclusion (which as Keith points out is not an option) and similar heavy punishments: what do you think should happen when there would be a major overspend in the future, since this is only deemed a minor one?

    1. I agree with what you said.I am a Mercedes and Hamilton fan,and I must admit last year’s ending was painful and felt unfair(although definitely Max drove fantastically all season long,as he did this year too),but still I wouldn’t like and I don’t think changing the championship result would be fair.Like you said the rules consider this a minor breach (I do understand it most likely gave them a performance advantage that many could argue could have altered the result).As such, going as far as taking away the championship(and especially the driver’s) would be too far a penalty. The idea of a points deduction from the team as a precedent to prevent further breaches of such rules,could have been a good one, but maybe it would also open a whole new discussion of “Why only the team and not the driver” since we all know the second would make a difference in the outcome.
      So overall I think the FIA balanced pretty well the penalty with a fine significantly bigger than the overspend,even if that might not be as important in such a competitive and expensive sport, and a performance penalty if I may name it that, which tries to kind of adjust for the performance the gained(to be fair I don’t know how much they may have gained form 1m$ overspending and how much they might loose from the 10% deduction in windtunnel testing..but I would guess the estimate would be roughly equal?).The debate about the percentage deduction being applied to the already decreased time they are allowed…I think I agree it would be more fair to apply the deduction in the average(100% of time) so its the same for every team.
      Lastly about the financial restriction rules overall, l like Keith scepticism..and I agree its a tough rule to apply, but although I’d love to see these teams innovate and push the boundaries without limits, I also think that some restrictions seeking more efficient money deployment and some sustainability for the smaller teams is good for the sport.

    2. The Material sporting penalty may include exclusion from the championship (VI), which is indeed not possible with a Minor sporting penalty. However a Minor sporting penalties may still include a deduction of constructor and driver championship points – and there is no stated explicit maximum to this penalty. So while the intent seems obvious, this seems a bit of a broad strokes description. In the event of a repeat of a Mosley vs. Dennis situation, where the FIA seemed to go above and beyond what was possible for sometimes questionable and rumored to be personal reasons, that might become an issue.

    3. They could have excluded them from the 2021 WCC. That would be in the same spirit as the spy-gate: McLaren was excluded but the drivers kept their points. That wouldn’t change the outcome of the championships but would have them take an even bigger financial hit than $7m, plus some of the smaller teams that struggle to get to the cost cap would take advantage.

      I think that it was pretty clear to all that the breach was not big (1.6% is not over 5%) and not in bad faith as they also made mistakes that could bring it down to about 0.5%, that’s why the more lenient sentence was chosen.

      Somehow some media (and some Twitter accounts) were reporting this as if they would handle the 2021 WDC to Hamilton which is obviously wrong on so many levels.

    4. To me they could’ve added a constructor’s point deduction to the penalty. Even if it would’ve made no difference for last year’s results it would be more of a warning for the future.

      I get the feeling your suggestion is being made ‘because’ it would not have effected last years results. The problem here is the the precedent is set and in identical breach the same penalty would be applied, and the next time it may well effect the previous years result.

      1. Exactly. Although (given the lengthy discussions this year and the thickness of the rulebook) chances are slim that we’ll see another breach of the same amount in exactly the same areas, the precedent could give everyone some idea about possible future penalties. That it actually would have effect the second time around makes sense to me, if you manage to make the same mistake after it was widely discussed and penalised you deserve a heftier penalty.

  2. It should also be noted that a 10% reduction of dev time is based on their reduced time already resulting in only a 7% reduction (70% down to 63%). It should be down to 60%.

    1. Why should it be?

      It is a 10% reduction of their windtunnel and CFD development time. The amount could be argued but this 7% thing is so pointless to argue about. If they had 115% windtunnel time then then reduction would be 11,5% of the base 100% time. Or would you expect 10% of the 100% also in this case? That would be 8,7% of their development time.

      1. @f1mre I think the argument that has been made is that it should be 10% of the average time (being 100%) as well as the championship adjustment (i.e. 70% – 10% = 60%). Because under the current rules, if this punishment was applied across more teams, it would effect the teams at the bottom of the constructor’s more (they would lose 11.5% of their time) than the teams at the top (who only lose 7%), which I would argue goes against the idea of the aero restrictions, as they were designed to give a level playing field, so I would hope that any penalties/further restrictions applied to the aero testing would also affect all teams equally.

        For example, to provide some numbers to make it easier, let’s assume that both RB and Williams (currently last in this year’s constructor’s) both committed this exact same offence and both had this penalty applied for next year:
        – Red Bull, by being constructor’s champions, are set to be allowed 224 (0.7*320) runs in the wind tunnel in the first restriction period this year (I think the table in the regs is runs per restriction period, but I’m not certain. The point still stands though). However, with this punishment, they will lose 22.4 runs (which I assume will be rounded up to 23 but again, I’m not certain).
        – Williams would be permitted 368 (320*1.15) runs in the period, courtesy of finishing last in the constructor’s. If they had the same penalty applied to RB, they would lose 36.8 runs, for an identical offence. I would much rather see both teams lose 32 runs (10% of 320), instead of different teams lose a different number of runs based on their success.

        1. they would lose 11.5% of their time

          No, it would not; it is still 10% of their time.
          It might be more absolute hours, but still the 10% impact.

          1. jff Oh yep, you’re correct. That should say “11.5% of the base hours”, which would in turn represent 36.8 runs. Thanks for catching that.

  3. Proesterchen_nli
    29th October 2022, 8:31

    I’d say the penalty is beyond what the net discrepancy warranted, but I guess Red Bull were OK with harder sanctions in exchange for the flowery language at least somewhat protecting their image.

    At the end of the day, the FIA found agreements with all three teams in breach more palatable than going to court over any of the facts.

  4. I think ultimately with overspend being 500k if they had done the tax report properly, the penalty is close enough to fair to not matter either way, as far as I am concerned.

    1. @sjaakfoo the tax credits that were being claimed for research and development spending by Red Bull?

      1. The same tax credits the FIA acknowledged would have counted yes.

        It puzzles me that people think this isn’t a thing or that Red Bull is the only team that has things like this in their reporting just because they’re the only ones that had details come out due to the overspend. Do they really think McLaren don’t do this, for instance?

        1. @sjaakfoo well, for a start it does now seem that you are at least prepared to accept that the overspend is related to research and development activities.

          Furthermore, as others note, Red Bull has no automatic right to receive that tax credit – it is conditional on the team satisfying certain criteria from HMRC, such as whether the research is something that advances industry as a whole and isn’t purely for the benefit of the team that has made the claim. Would you still be fine with the overspend if HMRC were to subsequently rule that Red Bull’s claim for that tax credit is invalid, and Red Bull should therefore not have tried to book an unpaid tax credit to their accounts?

          1. its a little more complicated. For details look elswhere .
            simply stated : when hiring a contractor you pay his fees. In those fees everything is included. Now HMRC put the weight of the social services on the one that is hiring. That’s not normal and will have some effects.

  5. I voted for “far too lenient”, though I understand both (or many) sides of the argument.

    But yeah, this might set a precedent for other teams to follow. Spend just a few hundred thousand more (to have a sizeable increase in RD budget) one year to catch up, then pay a fine next year that is not included in the budget cap. If you can get a few more upgrades to your car it is definitely worth the delayed penalty.

    1. But they haven’t spent it on R&D, have they? If they spent it on R&D the penalty would be much, much harsher.

      1. But they haven’t spent it on R&D, have they?

        Creative accounting can shift numbers from one section to another.
        You don’t actually believe that catering guff do you?
        Leaving aside Horner not being capable of an honest description of his breakfast, $1.8 million is an awfully big stack of sarnies.

        1. You don’t really believe many people in Red Bull and in external financial companies are all cheaters? And that all these cheaters are at the same time so stupid as to present the FIA with wrong numbers? They must have thought the FIA is even stupider than them to not be able to count correctly.

          And you must remember that all this was done while Red Bull was in contract talks with Porsche. So, do you think Porsche would have no problem teaming up with cheaters? Does being a cheater sell more cars?

          No, this again is the faulty thought process of a cheater assuming that everybody else is also a cheater.

          1. How did the other teams get it right then? By accident? Don’t forget there was a practice run in 2020 to get the rules clear for everyone.

          2. This:

            You don’t really believe many people in Red Bull and in external financial companies are all cheaters?

            and this:

            No, this again is the faulty thought process of a cheater assuming that everybody else is also a cheater.

            Deliberate insult?
            Really? Never cheated on anything in my life. Many occasions where it would have been easy and unnoticed by others, but the important part is I would have known.

            Retract, or depart this forum.

            BTW. I have a now retired, senior member of HMRC among my friends, and he has assured me that there is no shortage of people in businesses that think they can pull the wool over HMRCs eyes. Some stayed out of jail.

          3. How did the other teams get it right then? By accident? Don’t forget there was a practice run in 2020 to get the rules clear for everyone.

            @JustSomeone
            Yeah, it sort of makes you think that while everyone else was figuring out how they could remain under the budget cap by trimming out non-essentials, RBR were practising something totally different, like how to get round the limits.

      2. As had been pointed out before, this is not a valid argument.

        Let’s just take potentially the silliest potential overspend which has been talked about: catering. If we say that the entire overspend was on catering, I agree that it seems harsh to give a penalty for feeding their staff. However, looked at more closely, if they’d correctly accounted for that catering within the budget they would have had less to spend on car development.

        Unless they spent less than the overspend on car development, the overspend was on car development.

        1. @drmouse
          Exactly. The catering argument is beyond ridiculous. Other teams might just as well claim the overspend was used on steering wheels and Red Bull wouldn’t have been able to race at all without the extra money.

          1. Red Bull are cheats and they know it. I used to like Horner but now I have changed my opinion. He’s a liar.

      3. The rules don’t specify what percentage of your budget goes on each department, it just specifies a limit on the total. Saying the overspend went on catering or anything else just means if they had spent less on catering they would have had more to legitimately spend on the car, but they didn’t so it’s a completely bogus argument. And fining them is no penalty at all. If they can afford to breach the budget limit they can afford a fine. Utterly pointless. If the ruling is that they broke the rules then that should be reflected in the sporting outcome, and the only sporting outcome that matters is championship points – not just for last year but for this year also, because overspending in one season gives you a head start on the next season. As it turns out the breach was “minor” and probably didn’t do much to help them win races, but this non-penalty sets a precedent for the teams with the biggest pockets, i.e. Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, and Renaultbyanothername to cheat and get away with it.

      4. But they haven’t spent it on R&D, have they?

        This is very hard to verify, and easy to obfuscate.

        The only relevant figure is the 140 million as the total. Red Bull can list their subtotals in any order they want, but that doesn’t mean that the last item on their list is therefore the cause of the overspending.

      5. As others have said, the detail of what the budget cap breach was about is completely irrelevant.

        Let’s see it with a simple example, I have got 150M to play with and I want to make the fastest race car possible, but some expenses just won’t go away. I end up spending 80M on R&D, and 80M on other expenses. That is 160M total, so I have to hide 10M. Of course, in order to make it look better in the case I am caught, I will hide 10M of other expenses and say that I spent 80M on R&D and 70M on other expenses. But that does not make it any better than if I had hidden 10M of R&D, does it ?

  6. What I find a bit stange is that the freed up cost of the 10% windtunnel and CFD development time can now be allocated to other areas. E.g. to manufacturing or salaries or travel or whatever. I think a certain amount should also have been deducted from their cost cap.

    1. I have the same impression. It is strange that the total envelope is unaffected. As it is that the fine doesn’t count towards the budget cap.

      1. The reason they have decided that these fines would not be deducted from the available budget was to ensure that the fines would not lead to people losing their jobs.

    2. That’s what happens if you negotiate on a punishment: You reach an agreement that the two parties can live with. What others have to say about this is irrelevant. I’m sure this punishment is a somewhere middle ground: I think the FIA started with more load. On the other side you have RBR that believed they are in a grey zone at worst, so they might have been sure they could’ve gone the long way, but that means a lengthy and expensive process with unsure outcome.
      Due to precedent alone, one can argue that the penalties are now more or less decided on.
      I’ve got the feeling some here would only agree on a sufficient punishment it they get to hang or pike a few RBR-personnel. To those I say, get real.

  7. As the first time this offence was punished it just feels far too lenient. Had the 7m fine been removed from their budget for next year that would have been closer to an actual tangible penalty. I also think the wind tunnel reduction is a trifle and will not hurt them enough.

    To be honest the reputation damage is immense for me by this breach. I have doubts that Red Bull aren’t cheating in other areas like wind tunnel, cfd, using Alpha Tauri resources to spend on RBR development. I frankly just think they’re willing to cheat in anyway they can to win. Doesn’t matter about evidence for this, people will think it now thanks to their attitude throughout this emerging.

    1. Then you must feel the same about Ferrari. This breach and punishment is all in the open. The Ferrari deal however…..strange how people have forgotten about that so soon…

    2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      29th October 2022, 9:29

      The teams, all teams, agreed that if a team accepted an ABA then a reduction in the cost cap was a penalty taken off the table.

      In future if a team is not allowed an ABA then they could get a reduction in what money they can spend.

      As is always the way with the FIA though if a different team has done exactly the same as ORBR this year 2022 will they get the same penalty? If ORBR have breached this year will they get a more severe penalty?

    3. The only reputation at stake for me is that of the FIA, and frankly there wasn’t much left of that even before this latest fiasco. I expect the teams to try to cheat and I expect the governing body to stop them.
      Correction: I SHOULD expect the governing body to stop them, but I don’t have much hope of that these days because they are either incompetent or corrupt or both.
      The best thing that can happen for those interested in SPORT is for F1 to walk away from the FIA and set up its own governing body appointed unanimously by the participants.

      1. I should modify my statement above to note that I expect the team *bosses* to cheat: They are businessmen, not sportsmen and their first duty is to satisfy their sponsors and shareholders by any means necessary.

      2. The best thing that can happen for those interested in SPORT is for F1 to walk away from the FIA and set up its own governing body appointed unanimously by the participants.

        In theory, but in practice we’ve seen time and again that the teams will inevitably do two things when asked to participate in the rule making (whether this is a good idea is a separate issue).

        When it comes to deciding on penalties and sanctions, they will argue as if they were going to be penalized and favor very lenient measures. When another team then breaks the rules, they will all rush to the internet and proclaim that a harsh penalty is absolutely necessary.

        When it comes to regulations that might give them an advantage (from limited testing to engine freezes), they will argue as if they are the cleverest bunch and will make such a great engine and car that their advantage will be locked in for years. When another teams then turns out to have done a better job, they will all rush to the internet and claim that the sport is doomed if the rules aren’t changed.

  8. <blockquoteThe FIA chose to fine Red Bull $7m (£6m) and cut their permitted aerodynamic testing time by 10%. Was that a fair penalty?

    In a word – No.

    An appropriate penalty would involve:

    Reduction of their available budget within the cost cap, not something paid from their external financier. That bites where needed.

    Stripping of points – since, as the phrase goes, “points mean prizes” and they seem to have acquired (none were “won”) 3 asterisk titles out of this additional development funding. The resulting prize money seems to be fraudulently acquired. This bites as recorded history at headline level Who won what as recorded in the books becomes totally different when you’ve taken note of, and eliminated, the illegal bits.

    Finally, the CFD/Wind tunnel budget reduction should always be calculated from 100%
    Perhaps the FIA should ‘clarify’ that all reduction percentages are a percentage of full allowance.
    i.e. (Using 100 base for clarity). If a back marker team gets 100 hours (full allowance) and the top team gets 70% (70 hours) then they have already had 30% reduction, but the penalty 10% (10 hours) should bring the operational figure to 60% (60 hours).
    So, in this specific instance, RBR have a further 10% reduction to 60 hours, of course if there is a points strip then they don’t get the initial reduction to 70%
    Bear in mind that the ‘clarification’ is only needed because a team with an existing reduction, derived from CC position, is getting a second reduction (penalty) applied and no one has had to deal with a double reduction before. Failure to work this way for penalty reductions would hit a team like AM harder than RBR, Ferrari, Merc and basically anyone higher in the table than AM and what of the back markers?
    10% of 100 is 42% larger than 10% of 70

    In the other penalty instance, Aston Martin should have the 450k fine deducted from their budget capped allowance. Team fines should always be from the capped budget.

  9. I think penalty has been given, agree or don’t agree, this needs closure. We’ve given that so move on and enjoy racing.

  10. Rigged bull racing cheated it doesn’t matter by how much they should have been docked points.

  11. The penalty should have been a 200% multiplier to the breach deducted from the teams cost cap for the following year. So the 1,8m would become a 3,6m against the cost cap. Its easy to follow and would set a precedence instead of this no-call on Aston Martin and the lenient penalty against Red Bull.

    1. Thing is, getting extra now when in a close championship fight is potentially worth it if you pay back double in a future year when you do not know if you are in a championship fight.

      1. Its an advantage no doubt for the first year and also economy wise, but that lack of cost cap the following year counts double, which clearly will hinder upgrades or fielding the same amount of personel.

  12. Much better would be a simple fine, where for each exceeded € thry need to pay 1 € to all their competitors.

    Ehile aero development cap is nice in case of RedBull.. It is not so nice in case of Aston Martin, who already are too slow.

    If this penalty results in Mercedes dominating next year with 1 second advantage,… Then we just went from one easy champion to another..

    But if we get RedBull Ferrari and Mercedes at same speed next year, then penalty was about right.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      29th October 2022, 9:32

      Horner tells us it will slow the car down by 2 tenths. That is a very clever assumption and not much at all in the overall scheme of things. The car is already 6 tenths faster than MB so not much in theory changes in the order of the cars.

    2. Assuming that compensatory award to the other teams is added to their budget (because very few of them actually need the money – they could all breach the budget cap if they wanted to) all that would happen in such a system is one team, banrkolled through the back door by a consortium of all the other teams’ sponsors, would serve as a patsy to deliberately overspend while remaining uncompetitive, in effect raisinng the budget limit for everyone.
      My own view is that the budget cap should be scrapped entirely and the prize money distributed more fairly among the teams so that everyone can develop and compete properly. F1 has historically been a major development bed for the kind of cars you and I can go and buy at the local dealership. Restricting R&D by a spending limit will thus slow down the advancement of road cars.

  13. ‘Far too lenient’ was an easy choice.

  14. I still think this is too early to judge. While I would have hoped that the fine should have come out of the budget cap or been a reduction in the budget cap, the rules make it very clear that the fine does not, so I can’t argue with how that’s been applied. Still find it a bit disappointing though.

    It could take a long time for the aero restrictions to filter through into the running order (if it causes a noticeable difference at all that is), because I expect development of the 2023 car is pretty advanced, so this will only really affect further upgrades, but these restrictions will probably impact 2024 development much more. It could have a large impact (after all, RB will have 12% less aero testing than anyone else now, which equates to 38 wind tunnel runs), or it could make no difference at all.

    And then the question comes down to how this should be policed. The FIA have clearly gone for an approach closer to the sporting regulations, whereby a breach is penalised based on the severity of the breach, rather than the technical regulations, whereby any breach, no matter how small (e.g. Brazil 2021) is an automatic DSQ. My guess is it is down to personal choice as to how people want to see this policed. Some may want DSQs for any breach, some may only want it for extreme major breaches. There are valid arguments on both sides.

    I’m interested there wasn’t a points deduction, at least for the constructor’s, where any deduction would likely have made no difference to the 2021 results. And there is precedent for losing constructor’s points but not driver’s, notably Spygate and the RP20 brake duct infringement (where 7.5 points were deducted per car, and a 7.5 point deduction for Perez would, as it turned out, have lost him P4 in the driver’s championship at season’s end). I wouldn’t have been overly surprised if the FIA had deducted constructor’s points but not driver’s points.

    Overall, my initial reaction is this is slightly too lenient. However, I don’t think I can truly make a decision until the actual impact of the penalty is seen, which could be 2024 before anything noticeable materialises, if anything come of it at all.

    1. It could take a long time for the aero restrictions to filter through into the running order

      This is the main thing which makes the penalty too lenient for me. A team can, potentially, gain an advantage for several seasons by breaking the cap. Even if the wind tunnel time reduction does hit development significantly, that could well be after a team profited from their breach for multiple seasons. I think that, of you offered most teams a strong advantage this year and next, followed by a disadvantage the season after, they’d snap your hand of.

    2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      29th October 2022, 11:24

      I’m interested there wasn’t a points deduction, at least for the constructor’s

      Part of being offered and accepting an ABA took points deductions off the table. Ultimately I would suggest that was a compelling reason for ORBR to accept it.

  15. Correct!

    You’d have to be a bit of a clown to think any current team would intentionally overspend on purpose. They are under such scrutiny that any advantage just wouldn’t be worth it, as we’ve just seen.

    RedBull clearly made a mistake, time to accept it and go motor racing.

    1. There is a big difference between it being generally foolish to overspend and face a penalty in the future vs being in a championship fight and trying to gain an advantage but pay a penalty in future years when you do not know if you will be in a championship fight.

    2. That might be right about some of the expenses, for example the case of the employee hired by another team doesn’t sound that bad. That Horner called the accounting of the catering “aggressive, but we felt it was right” can mean only one thing : it was plain wrong, and they knew it.

  16. Despite what the agreement says this overspend is not at all a surprise from the RedBull management who often give the impression that they think the sport, and reality, is adjustable to their needs and requirements. Fairytales as Seidl describes it.

    This overspend reinforces that image and on that score the overspend was damaging, but hey ho, they still got two driver championships and a constructors while they did so and that probably more than compensates in business terms.

  17. There are so many other ways the penalty could have been given. Instead of a fine payable to the FIA, the amount could have been distributed out to the rest of the grid, say $1m to each team, as an extra to the budget cap for next year. For lower grid teams that would be a bonus. But I do think RedBull should have had their budget cap reduced for 23. They got off very lightly.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      29th October 2022, 11:27

      ORBR, IMO, accepted the ABA as that took a reduction in the cost cap off the table. It is all in the financial regulations.

  18. Of course other teams are going to say it is way too lenient. That is the default response from rivals in such a highly political sport. To them, anything short of being hung, drawn and quartered is too lenient.

    The fact that Horner insists the penalty is draconian indicates that it is noticeable enough to be effective. The purpose of the penalty is to enforce the cost cap, not to compensate the other teams by altering the result of the constructors’ championship.

    People have to remember this is a “first offence.” If the penalty is indeed too lenient and Red Bull does the same thing again, there is nothing that prevents much harsher penalties being applied. At least on a second offence, the FIA will have a much stronger mandate to throw the book at them.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      29th October 2022, 11:29

      The fact that Horner insists the penalty is draconian indicates that it is noticeable enough to be effective.

      Or it reinforces what Andreas said about it being Horner’s fairy tale.

      Horner I guess has to look as if he is upset even if he is really doing a jig as he exits the press conference.

      1. Davethechicken
        29th October 2022, 13:08

        Indeed Andy, the penalty was so “draconian” yet they accepted it, no appeal or legal action. Actions speak louder than words comes to mind.

    2. The fact that Horner insists the penalty is draconian indicates that it is noticeable enough to be effective.

      Only if we assume that Horner is telling the truth, which speaks more highly of the person making that assumption than of Horner himself. Horner, after all, has a long history of telling half-truths and untruths to further Red Bull’s cause.

      For all we know, Horner sent a big old :D emoji to his Red Bull management group-chat after reaching the agreement with the FIA. The deal is after all a pretty good one for Red Bull given the available options the FIA had.

      1. You single out Horner but in reality, the entire group of team leaders have a well documented history of telling half-truths. That’s what F1 is – lies and politics.

        All of them say what benefits their team. Obviously those chasing Red Bull will say it’s unfair whilst those being penalised will say it’s harsh.

        It’s meaningless what the teams have to say about it because it’s impossible for them not to be biased towards their own team.

    3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      29th October 2022, 14:16

      @davids this is not some playground where they are supposed to make sure that all children get equal time and learn from their mistakes. If anything, Red Bull has now stolen 3 championships and there’s no compelling argument anyone can make that they didn’t do so. In fact, the FIA has now put their stamp of approval on the fraudulent transaction much like elections in Russia and are complicit.

  19. I think we need more articles about the cost cap.

  20. I’d be interested to know how wrong other teams got it. Red Bull we wrong by about 4 million overall (incorrectly accounted for less tax error) weren’t they but only over the cap by 400k due to the buffer they left.

    Did other teams leave bigger buffers or use less up? Or did they just not get as much wrong as Red Bull?

    1. They are over by 2.2m
      But they may have a tax refund that IF they get it, lowers it to 400k

      This is the thing, the tax refund is virtual, they may not get it. But everything is thinking the cost cap breakage is 400k, when in reality it is still 2.2m

  21. One thing I disagree with in the process which I haven’t seen discussed, is that part of the penalty decision process was having Adrian Newey speak to the panel about the impacts of losing wind tunnel time. But this is an obvious conflict of interest. Adrian is the best person possible to be able to exaggerate the potential impacts of wind tunnel restrictions and hence lobby for a lower penalty to help his team.

    By all means, allow Newey to argue Redbull’s side of the case if they deem it fair, but the FIA should have their own independent expert aerodynamicist with experience of working in F1 who could give a fair, impartial opinion of just how much of a penalty this would be. I’m certain Horner’s wave of the hand 0.25-0.5 seconds will be an exaggeration. It will penalise them to some extent, but they will still be able to reallocate the reduce wind tunnel spending to other areas.

  22. Mekies (Ferrari, motorsport.com)

    “Since there is no cost cap reduction in the penalty, the basic effect is to push the competitor to spend the money elsewhere.

    It has total freedom to use the money it can no longer spend on use of the wind tunnel and CFD due to the 10% reduction, on reducing the weight of the car, or who knows what else.”

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      29th October 2022, 11:34

      Mekies is playing the game as Ferrari were in the process for creating the financial regulations.

      As no team knew how this was going to go back in 2019/20 they put in place a system that might be favourable to a breacher.

      What has to been seen now is how the ABA plays out if that makes any difference to how ORBR conduct their business.

  23. Firstly, I think it’s important to recognise that this is the first year of a hugely complex regulation. Secondly, at its core I absolutely believe that F1 does need a cost cap. The teams can’t be trusted not to spend themselves to bankruptcy. A cost cap is absolutely the right thing to do to ensure the healthy longevity of all teams and the sport. Is it perfect? No it’s not, but necessary and it will improve over the years.
    Having said that, when I first heard about the 7m fine my first gut reaction was to question why wasn’t it taken out of next year’s allowance? However if that meant that RB would have to cut jobs, in the current economic climate, I can understand it being a fine, and can make peace with that.
    Now the reduction in wind tunnel/CFD I would have hoped to be harsher. It has to be harsh enough to significantly hurt RB competitiveness next year. I guess we will only really find out if 10% is enough next season, but I have a feeling that 10% is low enough for the team to find efficiencies elsewhere to offset it. Let’s wait and see…

  24. Exclusion from the 2021 championship was never going to be possible for political reasons, so I’m not disappointed that didn’t happen.

    In my opinion the penalty should have been something that would have significantly hindered Red Bull’s chances in the coming seasons. That might have deterred teams from overspending in the future. I don’t think the 10 % reduction in development time is going to be enough, but we’ll see.

    The fine is obviously an insignificant part of the penalty for a team that can spend much more than the budget cap allows in the first place.

    1. Never going to happen, but it should have done.

  25. The only penalty that would make anyone think again and actually follow the cap limits would be to remove points from Verstappen, thus depriving him of the world championship. As others have said, creative accounting makes the actual effect of the announced penalty to be very limited, despite Horner’s protestations – he wouldn’t agree with a penalty if one of his drivers deliberately drove another car off the road (oh wait, that did happen and he didn’t agree – bad example!)

    1. This. Red Bull clearly made a decision to outspend the others, in 13 ways by a small amount each. The way the 2021 season went, it was enough to make the difference and land the WDC. So the only possible way to make that a bad idea instead of a good one would be to take back the ill-gotten gain of the WDC.

      Obviously there would have been theatrics, and that’s part of the strategy too.

  26. How much they over spent should definitely have been taken off of this year’s budget as well. if I spent an extra $1.80m more then I had in my bank account then paid $145m into my account I would only have $143.20m the cost couch should work the same anything they go over the budget cap by should treated like an overdraft that you have to pay back the next season

  27. The technical regulations work on the principle that if a team breaches them, they cannot defend themselves by claiming they did not gain an advantage. The penalty is typically exclusion. To my mind a budget cap should work in the same way: If you’ve spent more money than you should have done, some of that might have gone on development and therefore enhanced performance

    This I’d like to understand more since Red Bull’s violations were more on manpower than on overspending on the parts of the car.

    1. Davethechicken
      29th October 2022, 11:42

      How do you reach this conclusion as I doubt you have seen their accounts. Manpower is what designs, builds and maintains the cars!

  28. Mercedes (and the 7 years of dominance) was the reason there is a budget cap. The extra amount of budget Mercedes had was ridiculous (and far from fair). Now there is a budget cap, things already get more fair. But we never get to the point that f1 will be considered fair. Teams are all the time checking the best thing to do on the short or long term. Right now Red Bull just stretched it on the matter of budget cap, they were just calculating the risks and the benefits. I guess they were right in the choice they made, they won. People focus too much on what is fair and what not. This is just a matter of getting the maximum result. In f1, rules are not there to be broken, teams just know the loopholes and don’t do things that are illegal where disqualification is the punishment, like Mercedes dit last year in Brazil, that what was silly. For all other illegal actions, just know how far you can (over)stretch the rules and take (the calculated) slap on the wrist ones in a while. Whe you get sad by this idea, just feel comfortable it’s just f1, or better, it only happens in f1, in the world we live in, everything is fair and money is not important at all..

    1. They did not have that much extra budget above redbull and ferrari, stop excusing cheating.n

      1. How much extra budget did they have? I’d consider 1 or 2% as “not that much.”

    2. While I’m far from a merc fan, as I recall ferrari had a higher budget than merc, who had a higher budget than red bull before the budget cap era, and we’re talking like 50 mil difference per team, so much higher % than nowadays, but merc wasn’t the highest spending team; ferrari were particularly inefficient before the budget cap for the money they had.

  29. If this poll would have the follwing options:

    Are you a fan of?

    Red Bull
    AlphaTauri
    Aston Martin
    Ferrari
    Mercedes

    The outcome would have been exactly the same on this website I guess.

    1. Ahah, good point, cause the slightly too lenient option matches ferrari, far too lenient merc, far too harsh red bull, slightly too harsh alpha tauri and correct aston martin (or any other team not competing really), it all makes good sense!

  30. In honesty, without know what to think about the tax aspect of the overspend it is difficult to judge. If Red Bull genuinely believed they did not have to pay the tax and then it turned out they did, then fair enough, but I do not understand why other teams were not also faced with this potential problem.

    Overall though, I want firm penalties stated in advance in future. Specify what will occur per level of overspend.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      29th October 2022, 11:45

      They have a better set of accounts or not knowing if they were sailing close to the wind spent less to leave a bigger contingency.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      29th October 2022, 14:20

      They should not have firm penalties unless a team wins 3 championships and then the penalty should only be 7 million. Except for Red Bull where the next offense, they lose all championships since their arrival to the sport. That might be a bit harsh but not in the context of what just happened. It’s really a wash if they do it again and the amount should be 1 cent for them.

    3. Sam, I think the tax aspect you have highlighted is a problem with budget caps in an international sport. If two teams had identical spends, but in different tax jurisdictions, then one might find they have to pay more tax on parts than the other, import duties, VAT, etc, whilst the other might be enjoying tax rebates for “research”. How can you have level playing field in this situation.

      I am also puzzled by the issue of currency values. The budget cap is set in Dollars, but Red Bull accounts are filed in Pounds Sterling. The “seven million” overspend is pounds, not dollars, and the pound has been fluctuating wildly this past few months. At today’s rates 7.0m GBP is about 8.1m USD. Just a cuple of weeks ago, 7.0m GBP was about 7.7m USD. That 400K fluctuation is not insignificant.

      1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        29th October 2022, 17:44

        The teams were given a currency exchange to start with so the teams exclusively in the UK had a budget of a bit more than £114 million.

  31. Red bull fans : « yes »
    Mercedes fans : « no !! »
    Ferrari’s fans : « maybe yes, maybe not »

    F1 amateurs (no « fanatic ») :
    « Can we finally talk about something else pleeeeese ? It’s over, next.
    It’s getting on our nerves

    1. Its been 2 articles since we got the news, maybe you shouldn’t frequent discussion sites if you dislike conversation. You certainly don’t get to decree what people can or can’t discuss. Its getting on your nerves, not everybody else’s. I’m sure the Red Bull team fans want to move on from discussing the taint on their recent successes.

      1. No, i’m mostly tired of drama and binary poeple who see the other teams than their ones like evils without any nuances.
        I’m not a red bull fan, i’m a F1 fan, a driving fan, and a multiple view with neutral analytic views.

        Merc or Rb hard fans are like
        – the other team is bad. If you support them, you are stupid

        This is boring.

        I prefer people who have a analytical point of view with facts and something else to offer than manicheist view.
        Like analyse the fia report comparinf to real budget analyse.

        For exemple, do you know that budget analyse can be different about values in Austria than in GB ?
        You can have 2 differents reference. Wich one do you choise ?
        This is analyse.

        Some poeple here dont try to understand.
        They just want to judge.
        It requires less efforts …

        1. Fab, Red Bull Racing has still not yet submitted their financial accounts to Companies House, despite now being a month overdue for submission – so, what you’re asking about is impossible because most of the information is being withheld.

          Also, your line that “do you know that budget analyse can be different about values in Austria than in GB” is incorrect, and it is also irrelevant. The FIA’s licence may be registered to Austria, but the company Red Bull Racing is registered in the UK and subject to UK legislation on accounting standards.

          1. I’m sincerly curious of what would have been this pol results if it was Mercedes breaching the budget cap.

            What i notice about most of the comments here, that they are not debating about the what and the fact and analysing the True facts (wich most of them dont know because the entire doc isnt avalaible, and most of people, me included, dont have the abality to analyse and compare)

            They are about the who.
            If they like the team, it’s ok.
            If they dont, they are cheater.

            No matter the excuse.
            It reminds me the witch scene in Holy Grail
            « She has the same weight than a duck, then she is a witch »

            Most of people here dont know what really happened. But as long as it is a disliked team, it is confirting for the heart and mine that the liked team cant be beaten cause or themselve. Il is necesserily cause the other team cheated.

            It works for RBR fans, Mercedes fans, Ferrari fans, footballs fans.
            It’´s mostly psychology.

            And this is used to multiply articles on it
            It’s juste marketing.
            The more débates, the more potential add clicks, the more you can get money and customers.

    2. there is the option for everyone to skip articles he/she is not interested in.

  32. So, 400k in the end?
    Considering the cost of the Silverstone shunt, 1.8M (I know RBR had to absorb this), I don’t feel too sorry for Mercedes at all. They got a massive points swing and inflicted a potentially deciding financial blow with regards to the cost cap in just one controversial incident at Copse.
    I’d say it was money well spent by Red Bull.

    1. Davethechicken
      29th October 2022, 11:45

      Whataboutery at its finest. Well done G!

    2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      29th October 2022, 12:17

      If ORBR have overspent this year 2022 will that also be because of paying out for Silverstone?

      1. @Davethechicken
        Just explaining why as a RedBull fan I won’t accept that there was an advantage actually gained. If the cost of that smash was more than the overspend, then they were hardly spending extra on development. They had to rebuild a car that was put in the wall.
        I accept that the teams absorb these costs but this was a particularly bad one, cost wise and points wise. They would have been at a disadvantage to Merc financially by sucking up that cost.
        @Andy
        No. That’s silly.

        1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
          29th October 2022, 13:42

          Just leave the cost of going racing out of any possible reason then for overspending. Of course you might want to try that as a mitigating reason but it is not accepted. Yes it was a burden. The cost of repairing Valtteri’s car twice was also a burden but MB kept below the cap.

          1. Bottas caused way more damage to other teams than merc!

          2. I accept that technically, as they had to pay for their own costs. I also accept that they went over marginally and got punished but, as I said, money well spent.
            It’s laughable that Merc caused 1.8M in damage to their direct rival for the title, and then cry about them going 400k over. They really will try anything to discredit RB.

    3. Considering the cost of the Silverstone shunt, 1.8M (I know RBR had to absorb this)

      Amazingly, now Verstappen has calmed his driving style he has fewer shunts.
      Maybe someone pointed out how much his stupidity was costing the team.

      As for the cost of his Silverstone agricultural expedition, even the Horner BS didn’t tag it at 1.8 million.
      You should note they blamed catering for the overspend, and I don’t think Max was driving a sandwich trolley.

      Max/RBR fans seem to want to blame a mistake, there was a mistake – it was expecting to get away with dodgy accounting. They got found out.

      1. Just like the Flexi floors, the 400k they went over is nothing like it was made out by other teams. I wonder what the lobbying and accusations will be about next?

        1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
          29th October 2022, 17:39

          It’s laughable that Merc caused 1.8M in damage to their direct rival for the title, and then cry about them going 400k over.

          I have only seen crying from Ferrari and McLaren so far.

  33. The question should be “When was the last time the FIA have issued a proper penalty for teams circumventing the rules ?”

    BudgetGate, FuelGate, TestGate… The thing I, the casual fan, have noticed is that with the democratisation of the FIA since Jean Todt took over presidency, the governing body hasn’t been able to properly deal with teams circumventing the rules in general (technical/sportive).

    With the dictatorship presidency of Max Mosley, teams were still doing what they are currently doing but the general consensus was that if a team was caught cheating, they will be dragged through the mud. McLaren got a record penalty in 2007 for SpyGate though most of it was personal between Max Mosley and Ron Dennis. Briatore and Symonds were banned for life for fixing a race, Toyota were banned for cheating in WRC in 1995…

    The lack of leadership in the governing body is what prompt the teams to abuse the rules. Horner in Monaco was saying that RBR will not respect the budget cap if no adjustment for inflation will be made. Toto said that Mercedes can overspend and win the championship again. I doubt that they would have made the same statement if someone like Mosley was in charge…

  34. Nice framing again. And unsurprisingly you then get the comments and result you are after. Fact is it was less than half percent. I would not have accepted it an take FIA to court.

    1. I wish they had too then all the stuff they’ve not included could be found through a proper investigation of the team. Also would have put budget reductions and point deductions back on the table. There is no framing, Red Bull cheated, fans are asked if the penalty is fair or not.

      1. Well the way this article puts it, it emphasizes 1,8 Million while it is not. It was a bit over 400k. That is called framing and clearly plays the readers before asking them feedback in a poll. It is a classic example of framing and therefore voids any value of the outcome of a poll. Scientifically completely incorrect.

        1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
          29th October 2022, 13:38

          You keep asking the question until you get the answer you are after.

          1. You keep asking the question until you get the answer you are after.

            Well, given the example of Domenicali and his sprint races, why not?
            Our “Mayrton” contributor and other Max fans are just going to keep selling the same stale fairy tale that Horner pushed out until people get bored with giving the facts in response.

            If the overspend was really just 1/2 per cent, RBR would have fought the penalty, but they didn’t, which is a clear indication that they didn’t want the FIA digging any deeper and finding the mother lode. Horner and co will do their best to sell the idea that it was nothing much, and they are accepting this to allow the sport to move on because they are so gracious.
            Hans Christian had nothing to compare with this story.

  35. “Far too lenient” – Redbull clearly cheated and the FIA doing everything to help uses complex mental gymnastics to justify not throwing them out of WDC and WCC.

  36. I felt it was a bit lenient initially, but after reading how they managed to break it I think it’s a bit harsh. I seem to be in a minority, the majority of posts are essentially calling for Red Bull to be kicked out and decrying them as cheats, which makes me wonder if those people actually read the FIA and Red Bull’s findings or are just jumping on their own agendas.

    Got to admit I really don’t like what F1 is becoming and most of that isn’t helped by the teams or the FIA but much of it comes from the fans that are becoming quite toxic, to be honest.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      29th October 2022, 15:32

      All the teams had the opportunity to test their accounting systems throughout 2020. Then I have to assume the FIA were contactable throughout 2021 to ask for clarifications as they are for technical regulations.

      Between ORBR and the FIA there just appears to have been a lot of effort invested in making it look better than perhaps it is.

      Horner insisting they did nothing wrong but the FIA contend they did 13 things wrong.

      For the FIA to state ORBR were £1.8 million over but by doing the accounting in a different way £1.4 million can be accounted for.

      As a notional tax credit it might come to be that it really is notional and it will have to be written back in so even before accounting for real money they would have to show that as a spend somewhere. I don’t know.

      I guess this is why there is the firms such as PWC, Deloitte, KPMG, etc.

  37. From what I read about it, it seems a bit harsh. Bookkeeping in itself is just very complex and the budget cap rules are 52 pages in top of that.

    Also changing some of the rules afterwards is a bit weird.

    That said, the other teams did comply so I can understand their frustrations

  38. the fine means Red Bull have been able to effectively buy an overspend on the budget cap, which would feel like a poor precedent if that was the full extent of their punishment.

    That’s the bit that doesn’t sit well with me at all.

    I would make a minor budget overspend (even if deliberate) as clear-cut as a PU over-usage (a much clearer direct impact on performance). This should at least include a reduction in next year’s cap.

    Cheating and major overspends require much harsher penalties, including exclusion.

  39. The penalty seems way to harsh, imho, as, as I understand it, the breach was only because some costs/income had been filled under the wrong headers, without the means to correct it later.
    If the unused parts costs and tax income were filed under the right headers, there would be no breach.

    So yeah,

    1. Yep, same as in the rest of the world where administrative errors get corrected.
      No need to give penalties.

      It’s over, next.

  40. My view is that Verstappen should keep his title but RedBull should be excluded from constructors

  41. $7 million is an enormous amount of money

    Interesting observation from Horner. So, 1.8 million over is presumably ‘a lot’, not the relatively insignificant amount he’s been implying? The penalty was slightly lenient in my view; it should have been around 10 million and also deducted from the next year’s allowed spend. Let’s remember any advantage Red Bull gained (and the assumption has to be they gained one: it’s not for them to tell us where the overspend was allocated) is carried into subsequent years, so a penalty has to effectively cost them several times more in terms of cash and development (wind tunnel time).

    1. @david-br
      Your comment makes perfect sense. If RBR have spent 145 million in performance and 2 million in catering and sick/gardening leaves then they have overspent by 2 million and should be punished for that because an advantage has been gained in terms of performance. If they wanted to stay within the budget then they would have spent 143 million on performance and 2 million on other staff but they didn’t.

      Remember that they have already breached the rules before in the same fashion and got disqualified. In the 2014 Australian GP, RBR were abusing the fuel flow rate of a 100kg/h consistently in the entire race on Daniel Ricciardo’s car because they couldn’t counter Mercedes pace within the fuel flow limit.

      The penalty has already been negated and RBR knew that before even a punishment was announced. Let’s not forget that RBR were racing Mercedes with Toto and Hamilton, the worst competitors you can ever have in the sport who pushed them to their absolute limit. In 2021, there were a lot of restrictions on car development due to Covid-19, so the 2021 car was basically a 2020 car + 2 development tokens and a new PU.

      Mercedes and RBR stopped working on their 2021 cars round Silverstone with RBR bringing some minor upgrades here and there. Christian Horner kept reminding the entire world that RBR were committed to 2021 and they are late on the 2022 car project which suggest the opposite. Most of the resources RBR spent in 2021 were basically allocated to the 2022 car project. Remember when the W13 was unveiled with its shocking final sidepodless configuration, Horner immediately said that it was illegal and it was obvious how nervous he was.

      With Mercedes out of contention and Ferrari consistently throwing their selves under their own bus. RBR kept developing the RB18 earlier in the season at a higher rate than anyone else and pushing to kill both championships earlier than expected. The car was overweight at the start of the year by ~15 kg. RBR met the minimum weight in Hungary and ever since they didn’t stop winning. RBR have also homologated a lighter chassis after the summer break that they didn’t race it.

      Moreover, the championship has been wrapped earlier than expected and the upgraded RB18 become the class of the field. It’s also worth to mention that Ferrari and due to their car concept were hurt by the TD039 while RBR who were better at handling purpoising weren’t affected. Ferrari kept bringing upgrades till Suzuka to cope with the new TD and solve their issues before next year. Mercedes brought their final package in Austin.

      RBR have had the luxury of a dominant RB18 since Hungary and both championship being wrapped logically by the same time. So they could dedicate resources to the 2023 car. They have already negated any possible penalty before even it was issued.

      1. @tifoso1989 Exactly, the momentum they’ve been able to carry forward is considerable, including wrapping up this season early and being able to switch to 2023. The other question I have is how much Red Bull can offload some of their budget costs to Alpha Tauri? Just speculation but it would be interesting to know if this is a potential gray area (and advantage to them).

        1. @david-br

          Red Bull, is now divided into six branches, only one of which is the actual F1 team Red Bull Racing Limited (former Jaguar and Stewart). Between January and May of 2022, three other companies were created by Red Bull in addition to the three already existing in 2021. Red Bull Advanced Technologies Limited, Red Bull Powertrains 2026 Ltd and Red Bull Advanced Services Limited.

          If you look at the Companies House, you’ll find that the nature of the business of all the companies – apart from Red Bull Advanced Services Limited – is “29320 – Manufacture of other parts and accessories for motor vehicles”. The nature of business of the Red Bull Advanced Services Limited is “Other business support service activities not elsewhere classified”. The companies share the same corporate structure and are managed by the same people Mateschitz, Marko, Horner and Alistair David Rew (Red Bull CFO).

          The last financial statement of RBR Limited (the racing team) dates back to 2020 (they still didn’t submit their 2021 accountings) and it states that only 59 employees are employed by Red Bull Racing and 875 by Red Bull Technology.

          A single F1 divided into six branches. Who are they kidding ? Certainly not the F1 fans because I believe the core F1 fans are intelligent enough to realize what is going on. Red Bull are taking advantage of the British law with regard to tax and possibly other advantages. I’m not a lawyer or a certified chartered accountant to tell you exactly what they are up to.

          Though the FIA who employ top professional lawyers and accountants and have third party top accounting and law firms working directly with them could have had the answer straightaway if they have asked why Red Bull has been dividing their team into different branches and issue them a warning that whatever they were up to will not go unpunished.

          Red Bull technology provides transferrable parts to Alpha Tauri that includes the gearbox, hydraulics and rear suspension which are basically from the 2022 Red Bull car. Alpha Tauri uses also the Red Bull windtunnel in Bedford in the UK. RBR have also announced that they will be building their own hypercar coming 2025 and the project will be headed by Adrian Newey…

          A lot is going on certainly in the direction of offloading some of the work to other projects. I don’t have a specific answer to your question but the FIA with all the resources at their disposal can certainly provide an answer but they are not willing to do that for obvious reasons. I can only point them at where they should dig :)

  42. I went for slightly too lenient, but not fully sure; correct would’ve been an option too, it all depends on what was purposeful or not and the advantage gained. It seems like it could amount to as low as 500k and I have a hard time thinking a team would purposefully breach for so little, taking a risk to get wind tunnel reduction for next year, or a budget cap reduction, which was certainly on the table. We’ll also have to see the effect on next year’s car, I have no idea if it’ll gift mercedes the title (realistically don’t see ferrari as a threat) or if it’ll simply bring red bull down to earth.

    1. Or potentially could not be sufficient and red bull would still be the best car, really don’t know how much such wind tunnel reduction can do.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      29th October 2022, 14:10

      @esploratore1 the advantage gained and the purpose are immaterial. you cannot argue that Red Bull did NOT gain an advantage or that they did not intend to exceed it. It was $2 million dollars and the FIA and Red Bull have worked very hard to reduce it.

  43. It is going to be interesting to see how many teams exceeded the cap this year. New regulations new cars and yet look RB are way ahead and bringing so many updates still…. If they break the cap again then the punishment was not enough ( i voted Far too lenient) and the FIA like Rosberg said were damned if they did and damned if they didn’t come down with the correct punishment. So cheating gets you a 7 million slap on the wrist……..
    Concerned Williams fan

  44. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    29th October 2022, 14:49

    I had respect for Red Bull in the past but at this point they really should change their slogan to

    Cheating gives you wings

    They should also take a photo of Horner, Verstappen, Masi, and Sulayem (RBR’s main employees) dressed in tuxedos with Oscars in their hands and put it on their website. Ever since Red Bull merged (behind-the-scenes) with the FIA, they have been the strongest team and they deserve to win especially now that they have defined that there are no penalties for cheating and F1 is just a TV show, not a sport.

    This penalty is a complete and utter joke and an insult to anyone who has spent more than 10 minutes following the sport.

    It’s a violation of everyone in the sport committed by Horner and the FIA – we’re expecting a million Christian and Christina Horners to be born in the next 9 months. The paddock will be very busy tending to all those babies.

    1. I had respect for Red Bull in the past

      You could have fooled me .

  45. Cheaters Cheat. Nothing new for red bull.

  46. Depends if they deliberately overspent and gained an advantage or not, we don’t know that.

    1. we don’t know that

      Which is why it can not matter whether an advantage is gained, nor if it were deliberate.

      If a team accidentally left the plank off the bottom of the car, then this would (likely) not give them an advantage, but they would still – rightly – be disqualified.

  47. Far too lenient but I also don’t believe 5% is a minor infraction.

  48. Nonetheless, the fine means Red Bull have been able to effectively buy an overspend on the budget cap

    VERY much this.

    There is no sane argument that I can fathom or have seen presented that validates a fine other that one that takes the form of a budget cap reduction. I have said it before, and I will say it again…. The budget cap is intended to help level the playing field, yet the penalty applied would have far greater implications for the less well funded teams, yet the precedent is set, and a similar penalty would have to be applied in the event of a similar breach.

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