FIA confirm Red Bull have 'minor overspend breach' of budget cap
Red Bull Racing have been found to be in 'minor breach' of the budget cap during the 2021 Formula One season, the FIA confirmed on Monday.
Last week there were rumours that Red Bull had been involved in a 'material' breach of the rules, that were brought in last year to keep team's from spending too much.
The official reports were due last Wednesday but were delayed until after the Japanese Grand Prix at the weekend, in which Max Verstappen was confirmed as the drivers' champion for the second year in-a-row.
However, on Monday, the party for Christian Horner's team may have been stopped abruptly with the news from the FIA, although no punishment has been confirmed.
A minor breach means that the team were involved in an overspend of less than 5%, $7.25 million, over the budget and can include a penalty that involves a points deduction for last season, but won't necessarily.
Rather than a deduction, which could come in the drivers or constructors championship, they could instead face a public reprimand, exclusion from events, limitations on aero testing or a fine.
It remains likely that Verstappen will still keep hold of his first title, won last year in extremely controversial circumstances in the final race.
Fans have recently been calling for that decision to be overturned, and it's likely that the FIA deciding not to take the title away from the Dutchman, should that be their decision, then it would kick off ill feeling.
When the news first broke of the potential breach, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was adamant that any breach of the spending cap should be dealt with harshly.
The team principal, who has overseen eight constructors world titles in-a-row, said that it was a 'heavyweight issue,' explained how it was a 'mammoth task' to be below the cap and said he had to make 40 people redundant.
Ahead of last weekend's race, Lewis Hamilton, who lost out to Verstappen in Saudi Arabia last year, called for F1 to be tough on the spending cap.
Asked if any team in breach should be punished, the seven time world champion said, "I think it’s imperative, honestly, just for transparency. We need to continue to have transparency for the fans, for the integrity of the sport."
The British driver also added that his team's inability to spend more to develop last season's car, due to the cap, cost him the title and claimed just a small spend would have seen him be crowned champion once again.
"It’s so integral to development," he added about developing the car, "The development race and if we had another half a million to spend we would have been in a different position at some of the following races."
The Milton Keynes based team were the only team who were found guilty of overspending, but both they and Aston Martin were deemed in procedural breach of the rules.
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