FIA ‘make an offer’ in negotiations with Red Bull over budget cap breach

Thomas Maher
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner at the Japanese Grand Prix. Suzuka, October 2022.

Red Bull's Christian Horner at the Japanese Grand Prix. Suzuka, October 2022.

Red Bull have reportedly been offered a settlement by the FIA regarding their 2021 budget cap overspend, according to the BBC.

All eyes are on Red Bull at the United States Grand Prix, following the reveal last week from the FIA that Red Bull have been found to have committed a ‘Minor Overspend Breach’ during 2021.

The first year of the newly-introduced Financial Regulations capped team spending at $145million, with Red Bull the only team to have exceeded that figure. Their ‘Minor Overspend’ means a figure of less than 5% over, which means a maximum overspend of $7.25million.

The exact nature of the overspend has not been confirmed by either party, with Red Bull indicating their surprise at the FIA’s findings as all sorts of rumours have floated around since – some suggestions being that the overspend was linked to Adrian Newey’s contractor status, or perhaps staff-related expenditure such as sick leave or catering.

According to the BBC’s Andrew Benson, the first step in resolving the matter has been taken – the governing body have laid out the terms for an ‘Accepted Breach Arrangement’ with Red Bull. Further details are confidential and it remains to be seen whether Red Bull accept the terms.

Should they do so, accepting the ABA would mean Red Bull accept they overspent in 2021 and they will be hit with a minor sporting penalty. However, accepting the ABA means they will not lose 2021 Constructors’ or Drivers’ championship points and will not face a further reduction in the cost cap – both of which are possible if Red Bull choose to fight it.

However, they can be hit with sporting penalties that could affect future performance, such as a reduction in CFD or wind-tunnel time.

Accepting the ABA also means the full details of the overspend, as well as the punishment procedure, will be revealed by the FIA.

If Red Bull decide to take the matter before the Cost Cap Administration Panel, the potential penalties could be far harsher if the team are found guilty. However, the flipside is they could be found completely innocent of any wrongdoing if Red Bull can convince the CCAP an overspend did not occur.

Red Bull set to address the media on their own terms

Red Bull are apparently set to address the dramas surrounding their 2021 budget cap breach as Sky F1 have reported Christian Horner will appear before the press in a specially-arranged press conference on Friday.

Rumours in Italian media suggest Horner could reveal the amount of overspend and how the situation occurred.

Separately, Horner is scheduled to appear at the FIA’s team representatives’ press conference on Saturday, when he will face the press alongside McLaren boss Zak Brown and Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto – both of whom have called for heavy penalties to be applied for teams in breach of the budget cap.

PlanetF1 have reached out to Red Bull for comment.

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