The motorsports’ world governing body, Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has found three teams — champions Red Bull, Aston Martin and Williams — in breach of the 2021 Financial Regulations and said action against them will be announced later.
According to the FIA, who released their findings into a cost cap investigation on the Monday after the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix, Aston Martin are in ‘Procedural Breach’.
Red Bull have committed a Procedural Breach and a Minor Financial Overspend (less than 5 per cent of the Cost Cap), according to the FIA.
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The decision comes as a big disappointment for Red Bull after a successful Japanese Grand Prix as the 1-2 finish ensured Max Verstappen clinched the World Drivers’ Championship title with four races still to go in the season.
Williams were found to have made a Procedural Breach in May 2022 that the team then rectified in a “timely, cooperative, and transparent manner", the FIA announced on Monday.
“The review of the Reporting Documentation submitted has been an intensive and thorough process, and all Competitors gave their full support in providing the required information to assess their financial situation during this first year of the Financial Regulations. The FIA Cost Cap Administration notes that all Competitors acted at all times in a spirit of good faith and cooperation throughout the process," the FIA stated.
According to a report on the f1.com website, “The FIA would also note that with respect to this first year of the application of the Financial Regulations the intervention of the FIA Cost Cap Administration has been limited to reviewing the submissions made by the Competitors and that no full formal investigations were launched."
It said the administration is determining the appropriate course of action.
“The FIA Cost Cap Administration is currently determining the appropriate course of action to be taken under the Financial Regulations with respect to Aston Martin and Red Bull and further information will be communicated in compliance with the Regulations."
Procedural Breaches and Minor Overspend Breaches can result in financial penalties and/or minor sporting penalties.
In its response to the announcement, Red Bull put out a statement on social media, expressing their surprise and disappointment.
“We note the findings by the FIA of ‘minor overspend beaches of the Financial Regulations’ with surprise and disappointment. Our 2021 submission was below the Cost Cap limit, so we need to carefully review the FIA’s findings as our belief remains that the relevant costs are under the 2021 Cost Cap amount," Red Bull said in its social media response.
“Despite the conjecture and positioning of others, there is of course a process under the regulations with the FIA which we will respectfully follow while we consider all the options available to us."
While Red Bull were found in breach of the financial cap, Williams were in June 2022 fined $25,000 following a procedural breach of Formula 1’s financial regulations.
From 2021, teams have been required to submit an interim account of their spending against the Cost Cap - which this year runs at $141.2million - for the period between January and April by the end of June each year. Their annual spend must be reported by the end of the following March.
Williams failed to hit the second deadline of 31 March 2022, with the FIA informing the team of their procedural breach the following month.
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