Under normal circumstances, Red Bull would be loving life right now, with Max Verstappen having won his second Drivers’ Championship at the recent Japanese Grand Prix and with the Austrians highly likely to seal their first Constructors’ title since 2013 this weekend at the United States Grand Prix.
However, you can see on the team’s facial expressions that they are certainly not loving life at the moment, as their 2021 budget cap breach continues to cause anger throughout the paddock.
It was announced by the FIA the day after Verstappen claimed the title in Suzuka, that following much speculation, the Austrians had exceeded the £114 million budget cap in 2021, throwing the legitimacy of Verstappen’s 2021 title into further question.
The FIA deemed Red Bull guilty of a ‘minor’ breach, with the side having reportedly overspent last season by $1.8 million.
Whilst it might not sound like a lot, Mercedes spent $3.5 million overall on developments for the W12, highlighting that a breach of nearly two million dollars is substantially more than originally thought.
A question that is on many people’s lips currently is what did they overspend on, something which appears to involve several departments.
Red Bull have supposedly overspent on catering, with chief technology officer Adrian Newey also being an issue, according to some reports.
Newey’s wage is a question mark reportedly; however, Red Bull have stated that the famous engineer is one of their top three highest earners, thus excluding him from the cap.
With the FIA yet to announce the punishment, teams are rallying together to demand that the FIA award a heavy penalty onto the side, who McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown labelled as having “cheated”.
Some have asked for the Austrians to be excluded from this season’s Constructors’ Championship, something they’re set to win.
Sky F1 journalist Ted Kravitz has suggested that the governing body should “take away” their prize money from this season and demote them to the end of the pit-lane for 2023, something which would be an embarrassing “public sanction” for the leading side.
“The other teams will demand that if there is a penalty to be meated out that it is both sufficiently harsh in a sporting way and in a financial way, and in a way that has an effect on Red Bull going into next season,” Kravitz said to Sky Sports.
“Because even though we are talking about the budget cap for last season, what all the other teams are saying is this has a beneficial effect for Red Bull going into 2022, this year and 2023. So I think a lot of teams are thinking well if you can exclude them from this year’s constructors championship, which they are just about to win.
“Take away all of their money, Red Bull are well financed from all their sponsors anyway so it’s not going to be too much of a problem if they lose $150million in prize money from Formula One.
“And have the effect of putting them at the back of the pit lane order for next year, that would be enough of a public sanction if they have been proved to have broken the rules to make it a deterrence for anybody else to do something similar in the future.”
The FIA has offered Red Bull an “accepted breach agreement”; however, it’s yet to be announced if the guilty party will accept the offer.