Revealed: Surprising reason for Red Bull cost cap breach

Red Bull and Aston Martin committed a minor and procedural breach, respectively, of the financial regulations last year.

A report has suggested that Red Bull exceeded last year’s budget cap by spending too much on catering for their employees.

Last season, the FIA imposed a $145 million budget cap on the teams, who were also told to document their expenditure and submit the paperwork to the governing body.

The hierarchy have since been looking over the files and making sure everything adds up, but a recent report indicated that they had found anything but.

Red Bull and Aston Martin were implicated in a report that suggested two teams had overspent last season, and it accused Red Bull of spending as much as $155 million.

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Those estimations lowered significantly after the Singapore Grand Prix, and the FIA were scheduled to complete their findings ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.

However, they delayed their decision until Monday, when they confirmed that Red Bull were guilty of a minor overspend.

Aston Martin committed a procedural breach with their financial reporting, so the punishment for them will likely be similar to Williams’ fine earlier in 2022, when they submitted their paperwork late.

Max Verstappen’s 2021 championship was cast into doubt upon the findings by the FIA, but since their breach is a minor one, exclusion from the championship is essentially a non-factor at this stage.

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However, the governing body may yet deduct points from the 25-year-old’s total last season, so Sir Lewis Hamilton, depending on the severity of the punishment, has not seen his eighth title disappear just yet.

Mitigating circumstances will be considered by the FIA when deciding what the consequences should be for the Milton Keynes-based outfit, and the exact conditions of the overspend will be vital to that.

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According to de Telegraaf, Christian Horner’s team spent up to $147 million last year, and they reckon a lot of that was down to providing their staff with free meals.

Sick pay is also considered to be a factor, and that could bring the punishment down further.

The FIA will announce the consequences of the overspend in due course.