Red Bull mulling FIA offer of ‘accepted breach agreement’

Red Bull are understood to be considering the FIA's offer which could put the ongoing scandal to bed.

With just four races of the 2022 season remaining, 2021 is still no closer to being officially closed, as the ‘Cashgate’ scandal took yet another turn.

Red Bull were announced the day after the Japanese Grand Prix to have breached the 2021 budget cap, with the FIA deeming that the Austrians had committed a ‘minor’ break of the budget.

A budget cap of £114 million was introduced last season to make for a more financially fair playing field, with the richest sides being stopped from spending absurd amounts of money.

The cap is actually a genius idea, with each side having the same amount to spend on the car (excluding the power unit), employee wages (excluding the top three), and areas such as catering.

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Overspending on any area would give a definite advantage, with McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown having accused the Austrians of cheating last season.

Many of the paddock’s senior figures, including, Toto Wolff, Andreas Seidl and Guenther Steiner, have called upon the FIA to award a heavy penalty, for the integrity of the championship.

The likes of Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris have also argued that a ‘slap on the wrist’ simply isn’t enough in this circumstance, especially when the likes of Mercedes were forced to make some staff redundant to remain below the cap.

An issue with the breach is that there is an extensive list of punishments that the FIA could award, ranging from a heavy fine, to a resource reduction, a session ban, and even a points deduction from 2021.

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Up until yesterday nothing had really been said on the punishment Red Bull would be awarded; however, things are slowly progressing.

It was revealed on Thursday ahead of the United States Grand Prix that the FIA has ‘made an offer’ to the Austrians, regarding an “accepted breach agreement”.

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BBC Sport journalist Andrew Benson explained that everything else is currently confidential, with it now down to Red Bull to accept the breach and effectively receive a slap on the wrist or decline and go to the adjudication panel.

The same has happened with Ferrari in the past over their illegal engines in 2019, meaning that should Red Bull accept the agreement, then perhaps 2021 is coming ever closer to finally being a closed book.

Interestingly, Red Bull were set to hold a press conference Friday morning to discuss the scandal; however, it was cancelled after team boss Christian Horner and FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem failed to meet Thursday evening.