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Friday, April 19, 2024

F1 Champion Red Bull to pay $7 million fine for cost cap breach

Formula One champion Red Bull has been fined $7 million for breaching the budget cap last season and will spend 10% less time in the wind tunnel next year, governing body the FIA ​​said on Friday.

In a statement ahead of this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) added that the decision taken by Red Bull is final and cannot be appealed.

The result meant Red Bull’s titles were safe. The team won the 2021 and 2022 drivers’ championships with Max Verstappen as well as this year’s constructors’ crown, their first since 2013.

The FIA said the British team exceeded the limit by 1.864 million pounds ($2.15 million), but the total would have been 432,652 pounds if it had correctly claimed the UK’s notional tax credit.

Formula 1 introduced the cap last year to curb runaway spending and level the playing field, with the total reduced from $145 million to $140 million this year. Next season, it’s supposed to be $135 million.

On 10 October, the FIA ​​announced that Red Bull had a “minor transgression” and had also committed a “procedural breach”.

Aston Martin, owned by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, also admitted procedural violations and was fined $450,000.

Tunnel fine
The FIA’s Cost Cap Administration acknowledged that Red Bull Racing (RBR) cooperated during the review process and provided additional information and evidence upon request.

“There is no allegation or evidence that RBR at any time attempted to act in bad faith, dishonestly or fraudulently, or intentionally withheld any information from the Cost Cap Administration,” he added.

The wind tunnel penalty will hurt Red Bull more than the fine as the team is owned by an Austrian energy drink brand and one of the best stocked on the grid.

Red Bull, as champions, were already supposed to have less time in the wind tunnel than their rivals in another measure designed to make the sport more competitive, but this will be reduced further.

Rivals have called on the FIA ​​to crack down on Red Bull, arguing that any breach will bring benefits for this season and next.

However, further cuts to Red Bull’s budget cap would likely trigger more layoffs in a team that already had to slim down last year.

Aston Martin’s spending was under the budget ceiling, but the FIA ​​found that some costs, including the cost of the new Silverstone factory and staff meals, had been incorrectly excluded or adjusted.

Red Bull was later scheduled to hold a press conference at the Hermanos Rodriguez Autodrome in Mexico City.

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