RUMOUR: Red Bull reportedly breached the 2021 budget cap!

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Auto Motor und Sport and Gazzetta Dello Sport report that there is talk in the paddock that Red Bull has breached the 2021 budget cap. The team has responded.

On Friday, ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, Auto Motor und Sport and Gazzetta Dello Sport have come out with a report saying that there is talk in the paddock that Red Bull and Aston Martin have breached the 2021 F1 budget cap.

Considering how Max Verstappen won the 2021 championship in heavily controversial fashion, the possibility of another scandal is definitely not something Red Bull needs right now.

According to the BBC, the FIA has completed its 2021 budget audits and has told the teams that they would be issuing compliance certificates with the 2021 financial regulations on 5 October.

While the exact sanctions are not clearly defined, BBC’s Andrew Benson reports that according to financial regulations a ‘minor’ breach (less than 5%) can include “a decision of points for the championship in which the breach took place, a suspension from a limited number of events, limitations on research and development and a reduction of the cost cap”.

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AMuS explains that “an extra five million dollars in development can be worth up to half a second on the race track”, which means larger teams could calculate monetary fines into their expenses, as such a gain would be well worth it.

Benson adds that for a ‘material’ breach (more than 5%), a team or driver could be banned from an entire championship. Since Verstappen finished only 8 points ahead of Hamilton in 2021, any point reduction could be very worrying for Red Bull.

It’s important to note that a budget cap breach would not only benefit a team in the season in which it happened, but as Ferrari recently mentioned, it would also benefit the development of their car for the following year. Considering how dominant Red Bull has been in 2022, this could also be problematic for the team.

When asked about this, Red Bull’s Christian Horner told BBC Sport it was at this point “purely speculation”.

Aston Martin said they were “in discussion with the FIA and awaiting certification”.

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