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Date for earliest announcement of 'FIA investigation into Red Bull' has arrived

Date for earliest announcement of 'FIA investigation into Red Bull' has arrived

5 October - 12:05 Last update: 13:30
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GPblog.com

The FIA would not clarify F1 teams' financial reports until today at the earliest, the Wednesday before the 2022 Japanese GP. It could be an important day for F1 and a controversial one for Max Verstappen and his team, Red Bull Racing.

Indeed, the team led by Christian Horner has been firmly under fire from rival teams since the Singapore Grand Prix. Mercedes' Toto Wolff condemned Red Bull immediately after allegations surfaced that Red Bull had exceeded its budget cap. Indeed, Red Bull, who won the drivers' championship in 2021 with Verstappen might have overspent last year. In 2021, the first version of the budget cap was launched that allowed teams to spend no more than 145 million. This budget will be phased out over the next few years.(However, an inflation provision of three per cent was made on the budget this year).

Today first opportunity for the ruling

Wolff called for strict action by the FIA and transparency from the organising body. If the budget cap is exceeded, Wolff demands high penalties. Laurent Mekkies of Ferrari joined Wolff's statements. In turn, the FIA reacted to the strong statements made by Red Bull's rival teams. According to the FIA, at least until then, the claims were unsubstantiated. The FIA said it was investigating the matter without considering the allegations made.

It is strange that certain teams were made aware of the suspicions that something was wrong in Red Bull's financial reports. After all, the FIA was carrying out routine audits of all F1 teams' expenses and was not supposed to release its findings until 5 October at the earliest. Due to speculation, 5 October is now an extremely important day for every F1 fan in advance.

Potentially disastrous consequences for Verstappen

If the FIA does indeed find Red Bull guilty of breaching the 2021 budget cap, there is a good chance that Verstappen could still lose his 2021 championship to Lewis Hamilton. It would be a particularly controversial decision, but if the FIA follows its own guidelines, that chance is high. The heavy penalties that stand for exceeding even an offence of less than five per cent dictate that a points deduction can follow for the driver from the period of the offence. Verstappen won by just eight points from Hamilton in 2021. With a deduction of more than two per cent of his total points gained in 2021, Verstappen has already lost the title.

The official report may follow later than today, but it is certain that in the F1 world all eyes are on the FIA as of this moment. Should a decision be made before the Japanese GP, we will know for sure whether Verstappen will be hunting for his second or perhaps only his first real F1 title at Suzuka.

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