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FIA delay Red Bull and Aston Martin budget cap decision

An update has been made on the financial submissions situation

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The decision over the financial submissions from 2021 has been delayed by the FIA until Monday 10th October.

FIA - Horner
Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner attends the Team Principals Press Conference ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Belgium. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

In March, all 10 teams submitted all the details about their spending for the 2021 season. However, Red Bull and Aston Martin have been rumoured to of breached the cost cap.

Last year, the budget cap was set at $145 million. This season it has been raised by 3.1% due to the global financial situation and inflation.

Over the weekend of the Singapore Grand Prix, the talk of the paddock was whether Red Bull and Aston Martin have breached the cost cap. For Red Bull, Christian Horner was adamant that the Austrian team have not breached the budget.

But other team principals, including Toto Wolff and Mattia Binotto, expressed the importance of the FIA’s investigation. Binotto even said that a breach could be worth 0.5 seconds per lap.

The FIA’s investigation was originally going to be closed today with a decision made. However, the governing body have since released a statement.

The statement read that:

“The analysis of the financial submissions is a long and complex process that is ongoing and will be concluded to enable the release of the Certificates on Monday, 10th October.”

Within the statement, the FIA acknowledged the “significant and unsubstantiated speculation and conjecture” about breaches of the cost cap. However, the FIA reiterated that “until it is finalised, no further information will be provided.”

Concluding the statement, the FIA noted that any suggestions about whether “FIA personnel have disclosed sensitive information is equally baseless.”

What the results could be

If Red Bull and Aston Martin are found to have breached the budget cap of 2021, there are several outcomes that could happen.

A minor breach is considered to be less than 5%. For a minor breach, there are four potential punishments. They include:

  • Deduction of Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship points
  • Suspension from one or more stages of the championship
  • Limitations on ability to conduct aerodynamic or other testing
  • Reduction of cost cap

A major breach is considered to be overspending more than 5% of the budget cap. For this, the FIA could give the following consequences:

  • Deduction of Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship points
  • Suspension from one or more stages of the championship
  • Suspension from an entire competition
  • Exclusion from the Championship
  • Reduction of cost cap

This weekend is the Japanese Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen could wrap up the title. At the moment, he is leading the Drivers’ Championship by 104 points. Red Bull are first in the Constructors’ Championship on 576 points. This is 137 points ahead of Ferrari.

Therefore, with the dominance they’ve shown and their leads in both championships, deducting points from them may not be that significant depending on how many points the FIA were to choose.

However, no decision has been made as of yet. The whole paddock must wait until Monday, after the Japanese Grand Prix, to find out a) whether Red Bull and Aston Martin breached the cost cap, and b) what the outcome will be.

Headline Feature Image: FIA

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