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Formula 1

How Red Bull could be punished for 2021 F1 cost cap overspend

by Matt Beer
1 min read

We now know for certain that Red Bull breached Formula 1’s financial regulations during the 2021 season, a finding that the team still denies.

What the FIA hasn’t yet determined is what penalty would be appropriate.

Red Bull’s transgression is classed as a ‘minor’ breach in FIA terminology, meaning an overspend under 5% – which would be $7.25million or below.

The range of penalties that could be applied – and multiple penalties could be applied – for such a breach is as follows:

A public reprimand

The least consequential of the options available

Deduction of constructors’ or drivers’ championship points for the season in which the breach took place

This is understood to be unlikely in this case. But if applied, it does have the potential to change the 2021 title fight outcome as Verstappen only beat Lewis Hamilton by eight points.

Red Bull was 161.5 points clear of third-placed Ferrari in last season’s constructors’.

Suspension from one or more stages of a ‘competition or competitions’, but not a race itself.

This means Red Bull could be barred from participating in a number of practice or qualifying sessions.

Limitations on the ability to continue aerodynamic or other testing.

Aero testing, in both windtunnel and CFD form, is already strictly limited. Red Bull’s allowances could be reduced, or it could be barred from taking part in an on-track test such as pre-season testing or the post-season young driver running.

Reduction of the cost cap

Red Bull could be forced to operate to a lower spending limit than its rivals in one or more future seasons.

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