Red Bull’s ‘Cashgate’ scandal seems to finally be behind us, but it hasn’t meant that the recently crowned constructors’ championship winners have got by without a strict financial penalty for overspending on the 2021 budget cap.
The team has agreed that they have “learnt their lessons” for going over the limit en route Max Verstappen’s maiden world championship in 2021, but it has led to greater implications for their staff.
The speculation around them going over the limit first came to light during this year’s Singapore Grand Prix and it was later observed that they had exceed the budget by means of a ‘minor breach’.
Having spent approximately $2.2 million more than the limit, Red Bull confessed that this figure would have been closer to $500,000 if not for incorrect tax documentation.
This was confirmed by the FIA as well, who suggested that if they had filed their tax document correctly, the breach would have been far less than $2.2 million.
Since then, Red Bull has advertised the role of an accountant on their LinkedIn profile, which seems to suggest that someone may have been sacked for their part in this tax mess.
Other Red Bull employees seem to be applying for new jobs after being told they will not be offered a new contract which might also suggest some serious staff cuts with the Austrian team keen to stay within the allocated budget going forward.
It is rather strange given just how big a brand Red Bull is, but a graphic designer at the company revealed that he, along with other members in the staff, were told that their services would no longer be required.
Red Bull was forced to pay $7 million as well as serve a 10 per cent reduction in permitted aerodynamic research ahead of the 2023 season.
The time penalty in particular has been labelled by Red Bull team boss Christian Horner as “draconian”.
Horner believes many other teams are over the limit
Following Red Bull team advisor Helmut Marko’s claim that six teams are already over the 2022 budget, Horner has backed this theory and expects plenty of drama to follow next year.
“The danger for 2022 is there could be six teams in breach of the cap,” said Horner.
“Energy prices have been exponential. Thankfully we’ve been protected.
“There is that chance that several teams, many of which have stated during Formula 1 Commission meetings, will break the cap this year.
“I do not believe we will break the cap in 2022,” revealed Horner.
Max Verstappen currently earns around $40 million per season at Red Bull, and former F1 driver David Coulthard recently suggested that the Dutchman may be wise in helping the team out in bearing some of the cost towards the $7 million penalty.
While it may seem like a strange suggestion, Coluthard argued that the team helped Verstappen claim his maiden F1 title and Verstappen could perhaps help them out in his own way.