F1 cost cap: Red Bull’s ‘major breach’ rumour a result of ‘mischief making’

Henry Valantine
Red Bull carrying out pit stop practice in Singapore. Marina Bay, September 2022.

A new report has claimed that, if Red Bull are found to be in breach of Formula 1’s cost cap at all, their overspend will only be a minor one.

A report from Sportsmail said that private claims from teams that Red Bull could have exceeded the budget cap by as much as £10m are wide of the mark, with their report citing that the overspend – if any – is more likely to be in the region of £1m, and would likely be filed under a ‘procedural breach’ rather than a sporting one.

Procedural breaches under the FIA’s Cost Cap Administration [CCA] relate to actions like late submissions of or failure to submit appropriate paperwork on time, all the way up to submitting paperwork which is ‘deemed inaccurate, incomplete, or misleading’.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has vehemently denied any wrongdoing at his team, suggesting that claims from Mercedes and Ferrari that they had breached the budget cap were “bang out of order”.

Alongside Sportsmail’s report, Sky Sports F1’s Ted Kravitz said separately that talk around possible overspends for Red Bull and Aston Martin, the other team rumoured in Singapore to have breached the budget cap, has been “watered down”, and could be a result of “mischief making” in the paddock.

“I’m hearing that the hot air, the noise in Singapore about several teams, two teams who had in a small way broken the cost cap which is effectively breaking Formula 1 rules and in a big way breaking Formula 1’s cost cap, has been watered down somewhat,” Kravitz said to Sky Sports colleague Craig Slater.

“I wonder if there was a bit of mischief making, something between the ongoing soap opera saga between Mercedes and Red Bull.

“Christian Horner from Red Bull almost lost his cool in defending his team against the accusations from Toto Wolff from Mercedes.

“I’m hearing that maybe when the certificates of compliance with the cost cap come out, we’re not going to have too many big surprises, but I think there will still be some areas of interpretation.

“And that’s what Christian Horner from Red Bull was talking about in Singapore. He was saying ‘look, like any new rules, there are some areas of clarification of interpretation’, a charge that Mercedes refuted.

“They said, ‘no, I’m sorry. We’re talking the rules here. And if you spend more money, your car goes faster. And if you’re only allowed to spend too much money, then that is the rule in order for your car not to go faster.’ So let’s wait and see.”

The deadline for the teams’ 2021 accounts will be hit on Wednesday, with results of the auditing process set to be made available soon afterwards.

Read more: Our full breakdown of what happens if an F1 team is found to be in breach of the FIA budget cap