‘A big joke’: Red Bull won’t be affected by FIA’s penalty until 2024

Red Bull’s punishment for breaching the 2021 cost cap will not hurt the team for another year.

The ‘Cashgate’ saga is finally over, as Red Bull have been fined $7m and had 10% of their aerodynamic testing time for next year deducted as punishment for a minor breach of the 2021 cost cap.

After weeks of speculation the team from Milton Keynes were found guilty of a minor breach of the $145m cost cap, which was not believed to have been intentional or performance based judging by the FIA’s findings.

Having won the 2022 constructors’ championship, Red Bull will already have the least wind tunnel time for next year, with it being scaled down based on finishing positions.

Mercedes and Ferrari will look to take advantage of their now significant advantage in testing time to mount a more competitive title challenge in 2022, rather than allowing Red Bull to enter a period of dominance, however ex-F1 star Hans-Joachim Stuck does not believe that the punishment will kick in until the year after.

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“I am convinced that Red Bull is already so far ahead in planning that it will only have an effect in the following year. Then they will definitely be in good shape,” he said.

The German is not in agreement with the FIA over their handling of the cost cap, disappointed with the lack of clarity and enforcement of the rules and punishments.

“I think that’s a big joke,” he said when asked about the regulations.

“If a team rents a wind tunnel and sets up a wing, nobody can control it anyway. How is that supposed to come out?

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“You should rather make regulations for Formula 1 that make everything very clear… Now, after every decision, the teams arrive with three lawyers. It must clearly be a regulation that cannot be contested.”

Red Bull were given the opportunity to negotiate their penalty with the FIA, and reject their offer in favour of facing a panel of adjudicators if they wished, rather than there being a set penalty for a minor breach of the cap.

Team principals up and down the paddock called for a harsh penalty to set a precedent and deter other teams from breaching the cap in the future, but it seems that the reputational damage will be more of a deterrent than the actual punishment, as suggested by Toto Wolff.