Red Bull has come to an agreement with the FIA over a penalty for breaching F1’s budget cap rule in 2021 en route Max Verstappen’s maiden world championship triumph.
The Milton Keynes outfit was found guilty of a “minor overspend” on the $145 million budget that was in place last season. However, Red Bull only went over the limit by less than 5%.
Red Bull has argued that it went over the limit by $1.8 million due to a tax issue in the Uk as well as catering costs involved in offering its staff “free lunches“.
A press conference will take place at 5.30 pm UK time after the matter was put on hold following the death of Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz last week.
It has been reported, though, that the main terms of the agreement include a fine plus 25% reduction in aero testing for 2023.
The Accepted Breach Agreement (ABA) is a method that has been used by the FIA to find a legitimate means to penalise Red Bull for its overspend.
It is used to avoid a long, drawn-out court process.
A Tweet by reputed journalist Chris Medland confirms the extent of the financial breach as well as the reduction in car development time being issued to Red Bull.
BREAKING: Red Bull gets $7m fine and 10% reduction in car development time for budget cap breach.— Chris Medland (@ChrisMedlandF1) October 28, 2022
Breach was £1,864,000 ($2.2m) or 1.6%, but FIA acknowledged if a tax credit had been correctly applied would have been £432,652 ($0.5m), or 0.37%#F1
Unlike the Ferrari agreement that was signed in 2019 over its power units that was kept away from public eye, full details of the new resolution will be available for all F1 fans.
It goes without saying that many will view this to be a rather lenient penalty, with former drivers and pundits insisting Red Bull needed to get a harsher penalty to dissuade other teams from disregarding the budget cap in the future.
Did Mercedes expect harsher penalty for Red Bull?
While some fans even hoped that it would lead to a points deduction for Max Verstappen in terms of the 2021 championship tally, Mercedes also accepted that such an outcome was always a little unrealistic.
“The FIA must make the right choice and the penalty must reflect the violation,” team boss Toto Wolff said.
“I don’t think you can go back to the 2021 world title because with a smaller violation that is, according to the rules, not realistic. But it should be fairer and clearer in the future.
“The Financial Regulations are just as important as the technical and sporting rules.
“If you are disqualified for a technical violation, you should be able to get that for a violation of the financial regulations. Even though these rules are new.
“There must be an adequate penalty. There are enough rumours, but the FIA has to decide in the end.”
Aston Martin was also found guilty of breaching the budget and will be dealt a financial penalty as a result.
The team has argued that this was also due to the same UK tax as the one mentioned with regard to Red Bull.
Williams was forced to incur a similar penalty of $25,000 for a procedural breach earlier in the year.