The team was the only one to spend more than allowed in 2021, the World Championship standings will not be affected. The ceiling on expenses of 1.8 million pounds has been exceeded, an infringement judged to be minor because it is less than 5% of the total amount
The day of judgment has come. On the case of the budget breached by Red Bull in the 2021 World Cup, a matter that has been discussed for weeks and which will continue to be talked about in the coming months. Why today’s decision, unveiled over the weekend of the Mexican GP, sets a precedent in a new financial regulation. The FIA ruling was communicated shortly before the start of free practice, and reflects the advances that had circulated in the last few hours.
Red Bull was the only team to spend more than allowed in the last championship (won by Verstappen in the controversial final in Abu Dhabi) but in the end they got away with little. No point deductions after having chosen the path of plea bargaining under a procedure called Aba (Accepted Breach Agreement), essentially an admission of guilt. Which excludes for the fraudulent conduct, the Federation in the sentence emphasizes the good faith and the spirit of collaboration. Christian Horner’s team exceeded the ceiling on expenses of 1.8 million pounds, an infringement judged to be minor because it was less than 5% of the total amount, equal to 1.6%. With a mitigating factor: if a tax credit had been applied correctly, the difference would have been
The Federation he decided on a fine of 7 million dollars, a figure that according to the opponents cannot compensate the acquired advantage. From McLaren to Mercedes to Ferrari, they had asked for exemplary sentences. Such a punishment risks emptying the very meaning of the financial regulation, because knowing the extent of the fine there are those who in the future could go beyond the limit in order to win. Because the amount of the fine does not affect spending capacity for the future, not a budget cut cap 2023.
The other measure concerns the blocking of hours in the wind tunnel and in CFD (Computational Fluodynamics) tests for the next twelve months, a cut of 10%, less than what the opponents were asking. What does it mean? A reduction of twenty sessions on the 220 available, with a loss of performance estimated at 4 cents. In short, little stuff, even if we will know the real effects on the car of 2023 and also on that of 2024.
Red Bull won the two titles this year, but also achieved an important political success by passing almost entirely its defensive strategy based on the difference in the interpretation of some items of expenditure, some of which related to employee holidays, contributions social security, sickness and canteens, tax relief. There are thirteen items identified in the Federation document that should have been included in the financial report and instead had been excluded. Horner considers the free-kicks to be “draconian measures” which will have a major impact on the team and performance.
But the matter will not end there because all the other teams, in good standing, will ask the Federation for much tighter and faster control over the 2022 budgets to intervene immediately in the event of an infringement. Even reading, like the formal defect, also closed the proceeding on the Aston Martin: he will pay a fine of 450 thousand dollars. F1 is the fastest sport in the world, but the 2021 World Cup formally closed ten months later, as even in the worst bureaucratic processes. Unacceptable.
October 28, 2022 (change October 28, 2022 | 18:47)
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