F1 News

Scandal looming in F1: 'Red Bull exceeded budget cap in 2021'

30 September 2022 at 07:19
Last update 30 September 2022 at 08:30
  • GPblog.com

A major scandal seems to be looming in Formula 1. The FIA will soon announce the first budget cap figures and, according to Auto, Motor und Sport two teams are said to have exceeded the cap: Red Bull Racing and Aston Martin.

Budget cap in F1

In 2021, the budget cap was first introduced by F1 to ensure that the sport would be fairer. If everyone can spend the same amount, then in time everyone can be equally competitive was the thought. However, the FIA is now facing a problem, because what does it do if teams do exceed that cap?

According to AMuS, the FIA plans to announce the results of the budget cap in 2021 next week, but in that year two teams would have exceeded the limit, one of them significantly. The latter team is rumoured to be Red Bull Racing on the paddock.

Should this really be the case, it would cause a scandal. Mercedes already felt aggrieved by the FIA in Abu Dhabi in 2021, and if it learns that Red Bull has also been able to spend more money with impunity, that feeling will not diminish. Mercedes and Ferrari are also said to be pushing hard for an appropriate punishment, but there seems to be none.

Red Bull gets away with it

Under the rules, a $5 million overspend is considered a "minor offence" and the team gets away with a fine. Ferrari and Mercedes would already disagree with this, as five million euros could make a big difference on the track in their eyes.

For the competition, the biggest pain point is in 2022. If Red Bull would indeed have overspent in 2021, it also benefits in 2022. After all, that car was developed in 2021 and many teams now understand why Red Bull can be so competitive. Therefore, they are not content to fine the Austrian team.

Adding to this, calculations made by rival teams show that Red Bull will also exceed the budget cap in 2022. Red Bull strenuously denies this, but the number of updates Red Bull is taking to the track would not be possible within the cap, according to competitors.

The FIA will reportedly come out with the statement next week in which the two teams would get away with a fine. There would be room for interpretation of costs within the rules, which would prevent harsh action. The competition would fear that this has all been calculated to avoid a scandal, whence also the late timing of the unveiling of the figures.