The FIA has confirmed that Red Bull is the only team that did not stay under the cost cap level in 2021, with the team found guilty of a “minor overspend breach”.
Rumors had circulated since before the Singapore Grand Prix that Red Bull was over last year’s cap, but team principal Christian Horner strongly refuted the claims. Aston Martin had also been mentioned as a team that was in breach, and the FIA has now announced the findings of its review of the 2021 Financial Regulations, with both Red Bull and Aston Martin named for different issues.
“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,” an FIA statement read. “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.”
Nine of the 10 teams — Aston Martin included — were under the cost cap level, but the procedural breach could still carry a minor sporting penalty if the FIA feels there were aggravating factors.
Minor overspend breaches — that are less than 5% over the cost cap — can result in financial penalties and/or minor sporting penalties that include a public reprimand, deduction of constructors’ championship points, deduction of drivers’ championship points, suspension from one or more stages of a competition (but not the race itself), limitations on testing, and reduction of the cost cap.
Aside from Red Bull and Aston Martin, the other team to have a procedural breach was Williams earlier this year. That had already been rectified prior to today’s announcement, with the team entering into an Accepted Breach Agreement (ABA) with the FIA for being late with its submission in March, paying a $25,000 fine.