Cashgate Scandal: Red Bull concerned by ex-Toto Wolff advisor’s FIA role

Red Bull were recently found guilty of having exceeded the 2021 budget cap, and the FIA is still deciding their punishment.

Following much speculation, the day after Max Verstappen’s title glory at Suzuka, the FIA confirmed that Red Bull had exceeded the 2021 budget cap.

Reports began to circulate during the Singapore Grand Prix that Red Bull had exceeded the 2021 budget cap, a cash limit that was introduced last season to make for a more financially fair playing the field.

The £114 million budget at each team’s disposal was to be spent on the car (excluding the power unit), employee wages (excluding the three highest earners), and areas such as catering.

Following the announcement by the governing body that Red Bull had exceeded the cap last season, it was discovered that Red Bull’s breach was ‘minor’, with the side believed to have overspent by up to £1.8 million.

READ: Ex-mechanic claims ‘shouting match’ with Adrian Newey ruined Pierre Gasly’s career

Mercedes, McLaren, Ferrari and Haas have all called out for the FIA to award a heavy penalty to the Austrians, something which is currently being decided.

A concern amongst some is that there is a wide range of punishments that the governing body can choose from, including: a fine, a resource reduction, a session ban, and even a points deduction from either the 2021 Constructors’ or Drivers’ Championship.

The latter is very much expected not to happen, with a fine being the most likely outcome supposedly.

According to De Telegraaf, Red Bull are “irritated” by the FIA for an apparent indecisiveness, with the governing body still deciding on what the penalty will be.

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Red Bull also have “raised eyebrows” at the FIA’s interim secretary-general, Shaila-Ann Rao, whose previous role was as Mercedes’ legal advisor.

Some questioned if Rao had leaked the news to Mercedes, something that has been firmly denied by the FIA, who have rejected any idea of an inside leak.

READ: Guenther Steiner breaks silence on Red Bull ‘cheating’

Many reports have stated different areas that are believed to have been the source of Red Bull’s breach, with catering somewhat hilariously being one of them.

A ‘free lunch’ scheme at the team’s Milton Keynes base is according to the side, the source of the breach, rejecting rumours that it’s because of chief technology officer Adrian Newey being paid too much.

Red Bull argue that Newey is excluded from the budget cap due to being one of the team’s top three highest earners; however, earlier reports have suggested that his salary is a possible cause of the budget cap scandal.