‘Red Bull have known the FIA’s punishment for a week, have made counter offer’

Michelle Foster
Christian Horner in the garage with his ears covered. Austin October 2022

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner in the garage with his ears covered. Austin October 2022

Red Bull have reportedly known about their punishment for exceeding last year’s cap for a week already, and they’re fighting it.

Releasing their report into last year’s teams’ spending, the first year under the budget cap, the FIA revealed that Red Bull had committed a ‘Minor Overspend Breach’.

The exact number is not known, it could be anything from $7 to $7.25 million, while there is also speculation as to what the money was spent on.

That list is said to be everything from design guru Adrian Newey’s salary, to sick leave, to the catering bill.

Neither the FIA nor Red Bull have gone into any detail, the latter insisting several times that they’ve done nothing wrong.

The FIA, however, believe they have and earlier this week the BBC reported they’d handed the Milton Keynes squad the terms for a potential ‘Accepted Breach Agreement’.

That, though, is as far as it goes at the moment with Helmut Marko saying they are still in talks with motorsport’s governing body.

Those talks, Auto Motor und Sport claims, relate to the penalty with Red Bull opposed to what the FIA has laid out.

According to Michael Schmidt, the “racing team has known for a week what punishment it faces” and it is “allegedly a deduction of 25 percent of the wind tunnel time for the coming season plus a fine.

“Red Bull is said to disagree with the cost cap administrator’s proposal. The process continues.”

Losing a quarter of their R&D time, given Red Bull will already not have as much time as those lower down the order given last year’s introduction of a sliding scale, it’s no wonder the reigning Drivers’ Championship team is fighting it.

Team boss Christian Horner briefly met with FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem at the Circuit of the Americas on Friday where he “supposedly made a counter-suggestion as to what punishment they could live with”.

But it isn’t the FIA president who will make the decisions, that left to an independent panel.

“From the FIA’s point of view, it is up to Red Bull how quickly the process ends,” said Schmidt.

“If an agreement is reached with the cost cap administrator, the file can be closed immediately.

“If it goes to court, the matter can drag on for another six months.”

Read more: Christian Horner ‘appalled’ by rivals’ claims of Red Bull budget-cap ‘cheating’