The dust appears to finally be settling on the ‘Cashgate’ scandal, with Red Bull having revealed that there are “lessons to be learnt” from the damaging saga.
Following much speculation at the Singapore Grand Prix, it was then confirmed by the FIA after the Japanese Grand Prix that the Austrians had exceeded the 2021 budget cap, following a ‘minor’ breach.
It was announced that the Constructors’ Champions were guilty of going $2.2 million beyond the $145 million limit; however, this is largely due to incorrect tax documentation.
The FIA confirmed that the breach would’ve only been in the region of $500,000 had the side completed their tax documentation correctly, suggesting that a huge error was made by the team’s financial department.
Interestingly, Red Bull have since advertised an accountant role on LinkedIn, suggesting that someone may have lost their job following the incident.
The FIA awarded Red Bull a $7 million fine and a 10-percent reduction in permitted aerodynamic research as a penalty, one that boss Christian Horner hailed as “draconian”.
Red Bull aren’t expecting to exceed the cap again in 2022; however, given the rapidly rising costs around the globe, Horner predicts that “six teams” will exceed this season’s budget.
“The danger for 2022 is there could be six teams in breach of the cap,” said Horner.
“Energy prices have been exponential. Thankfully we’ve been protected.
“There is that chance that several teams, many of which have stated during Formula 1 Commission meetings, will break the cap this year.
“I do not believe we will break the cap in 2022,” revealed Horner.
$7 million is clearly not a small figure for the side to pay, with ex-F1 driver David Coulthard suggesting that Max Verstappen could help the side pay the fine, considering he’s on a base salary of £40 million.
Some Red Bull employees have actually advertised on social media that they are looking for new jobs after being told their contract isn’t going to be renewed by the side, with one graphic designer having revealed just that.
Given the size of the energy drink company, it would be a surprise if they decide to release a large number of colleagues; however, it is perhaps the best way of cutting costs to remain below the budget cap in the future whilst also saving money.