Red Bull agrees cost cap breach deal with FIA
The team has reached an Accepted Breach Agreement, which in essence confirms that it acknowledges any wrongdoing and accepts any sanctions.
Aston Martin has also agreed an ABA for its less serious procedural breach, and details of that are also set to be revealed on Friday press briefing.
Red Bull has been guilty of both a procedural breach and a “minor” overspend, which is believed to be in the region of $1.8m. The team will be receiving both a financial and sporting penalty. The penalty will involve a reduction in aero testing heading into 2023. As constructors’ champion the team will already have less windtunnel time and CFD usage than any of its rivals under the aero testing restriction regulations.
For Red Bull, the matters that were under debate are believed to include catering at the factory and feeding employees who were not under the cap, sick pay and redundancy issues, and how to deal with leftover spare parts at the end of the 2021 season, and their allocation to the heritage department.
Asked last weekend about the spare parts issue Horner said that it “had a seven-digit effect on our submission,” which suggests that it was probably the single biggest factor in Red Bull being over the cap limit.
He downplayed any potential performance gain from the overspend.
“What you have to remember is that the submission can constitute about 75,000-line items,” said Horner. “So, there's an enormous amount of data that has to be inputted into these submissions and I think it's only natural that, in a first year we have a set of very complicated regulations, to be able to get its arms around everything, is almost impossible. Almost impossible.”
Aston Martin was found guilty of a procedural breach that is understood to relate to a UK specific tax issue that was interpreted differently by the team and the FIA. The penalty is expected to be solely financial, as was the case for Williams when it was deemed to have committed a procedural breach by submitting documents after the deadline earlier this year.
"I think it's complex, it’s a complex set of regulations,” team boss Mike Krack noted in Austin last weekend. “And it is not frustrating, it shows us that we have to do a better job in the future, that we are not having such issues. But at the end of the day, I think probably the most important thing is that we were under the cap. And the rest is procedural.”