Red Bull and Aston Martin Found In Breach Of Cost Cap

Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Rumours were flying left, right, and centre about possible breaches in the cost cap by two teams with Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, calling it an “open secret” in the paddock. Now, after delaying their decision, the FIA have announced that Red Bull committed a “minor financial overspend” and Aston Martin had a procedural issue with submitting their paperwork, but they did not overspend.

Thankfully for Red Bull it was a minor breach, but it may still see them lose points in both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships for 2021.

In a statement made by the FIA, they have found these teams in breach, but have not decided on appropriate punishments:

“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.”

Red Bull have responded and believe that they haven’t breached the cost cap (in their opinion):

“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.”

The potential punishments for these breaches could include fines and the retroactive loss of Championship points. This could possibly strip Red Bull of their Championship in 2021 which is why the team have been so defensive on this point.

Aston Martin have been found in breach of the Financial Regulations, but their spending was within the $145 million limit. The issue was an error made during the reporting period regarding their submitted paperwork. This is unlikely to have severe ramifications for the team.

Why does this matter? As Ferrari team principal, Mattia Binotto, explained in Japan, it’s “implied in terms of performance.”

“$5 million is just about half a second, even $1-2 million is one or two tenths, which is from being second on the grid or being on pole and having the fastest car. It is about 2021 – 2021 is an advantage you gain over the following seasons.”

Possible Punishments for Minor Breach (<5%)

  • Public reprimand
  • Deduction of Constructors’ Championship points awarded
  • Deduction of Drivers’ Championship points awarded
  • Suspension from one or more stages of a Competition or Competitions
  • Limitations on ability to conduct aerodynamics or other testings; 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

For more, here’s everything you need to know about the cost cap controversy

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