Red Bull and Aston Martin have BREACHED COST CAP
FIA has confirmed Red Bull and Aston Martin have been found guilty of breaching last year's Formula 1 cost cap rules.
After intense speculation from Singapore GP that two teams had been found to have spent more than the circa $145 million limit in 2021, motor racing's governing body formally published its findings on Monday.
In a statement, it said that all teams had been issued their compliance certificates apart from Red Bull Racing, Aston Martin Racing and Williams.
The Williams breach was in reference to the late submission of files last year, which the team was fined for. Aston Martin was deemed to be in procedural breach of the rules like Williams, while Red Bull was said to have both a procedural and "minor" overspend breach.
The FIA's belief that Red Bull broke the spending limit comes despite the team having expressed confidence that the financial submission it made last March was comfortably under the limit.
F1's regulations lay out a range of options as punishment for teams that have breached the cost cap.
For a minor breach, which is less than 5% overspend, penalties can include a public reprimand, a deduction of constructors' or drivers' championship points, exclusion from events, limitations on aero testing or a fine.
The 5% makes it about 7.5 million, which is still a significant amount to put upgrades on the car.
However, there are no details yet about how the FIA would handle Aston Martin and Red Bull's breaches of the rules.
A statement said: "The FIA Cost Cap Administration is currently determining the appropriate course of action to be taken under the Financial Regulations with respect to Aston Martin and Red Bull and further information will be communicated in compliance with the Regulations."
In Aston Martin's case, there was no overspending, as the review indicates, and the team is understood to be keen to stress that no competitive advantage was gained and to regard any recent reports that it did spend over the limit as damaging.
Red Bull's overspending will prompt increased scrutiny on how the FIA deals with the matter, with several outfits suggesting the matter will be a test case for the success of the cost cap.
Should the FIA come down hard on the Red Bull team then it may be unfair considering how new the cost cap regulations are and how everyone is trying to understand them at this stage.
However, if the governing body is too lenient then that could open the door for rival teams to feel that they no longer need to stick to the spending limits, and this would be the reference.
What are your thoughts? Share on our social media.