What Red Bull and Verstappen risk by going over budget: shadows in regulation

Red Bull in the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship would have exceeded the budget ceiling of around 9 million dollars: this is what the regulations say and what sanctions the Austrian team and the risk of Max Verstappen if the FIA ​​confirms the irregularity. However, there is a gray area on penalties in F1’s financial regulations that leaves the door open for a number of hypotheses.

Author: Michele Mazzeo

The news of the supposed Budget cap surpassed by Red Bull and Aston Martin about the season 2021 inevitably blew up the paddock of formula 1 on stage in Singapore for the 17th round of the 2022 World Cup FIA not confirmed, but postponed for five days official communications on the results of the analysis of the accounts (from 30 September to 5 October) last year of the individual stables and making it known, through a spokesperson, that “any violations of financial regulations will be dealt with in accordance with the formal process outlined in the regulation“.

Despite this, there seems to be no doubt that the teams involved in this alleged breach of financial rules during the 2021 F1 World Championship are Red Bull and Aston Martin. And, according to other rumors collected by Fanpage.it, also about the fact that the two teams violated amounts different from the 145 million dollars allowed by the financial regulations which last year debuted at Circus (about $4 million for Aston Martin and about $9 million for Red Bull): which, as we’ll see later, represents a substantial difference.

In view of this and the fact that committing this violation was also the team that with Max Verstappen won the world title in a season characterized by violent controversy that continued even after the final controversy of the Abu Dhabi GP, it is inevitable to ask what penalties can Red Bull and Aston Martin receive if non-compliance with the budget cap rule is certified during the 2021 championship. Obviously, to know what they risk, you have to go see what the Formula 1 financial regulations say on the matter last year and whether the punishments for this eventuality have already been defined.

First, we must start from the fact that such a violation would refer to the full annual report of all expenses incurred by the team during the previous season (which in the regulation is defined as Full Year Report Documentation) and that the deadline for submission Cost Limit Administration (CCA)FIA body responsible for monitoring compliance with the budget ceiling, has been set for 31 March 2022.

That said, it is necessary to highlight how they are distinguished in the financial regulations of Formula 1 two types of infractions which obviously correspond to different sanctions. In fact, we talk about procedural infractions AND material infractions. And for the latter (in this case, Red Bull and Aston Martin would end up falling) an additional difference is made between material infractions of “small overspending” (with a budget overrun of less than 5% of the total available for individual teams) and material infractions “excessive expenditure of material” (when expenses incurred beyond the limit of the budget ceiling exceed 5% of the ceiling).

Therefore, a different sanction is applied based on cases where the breach of the Financial Regulation falls within. In case of procedural infractionsas we have seen with the $25,000 fine imposed on Williams for delay in submitting documentation relating to the 2021 season, the sanction imposed on violators is usually a fine. As there is no precedent in terms of material infringements, in order to understand the possible combined sanctions for those who commit them, it is therefore necessary to appeal only to what the regulation establishes (which, however, is very vague in this regard).

In the event of a minor overspend (casuistry which would include Aston Martin if the extent of the budget overrun was confirmed) the FIA ​​could impose a fine ranging from public rebukeat the fineat the deduction of points in the world ranking of drivers and manufacturersat the disqualification for a matchat the limitations in tests up until reduction of the budget ceiling for the following year (the one from the 2023 season).

if it was aViolation of material overspending (That is the one who would have committed Red Bull if an overrun of the 2021 budget cap of approximately $9 million is confirmed), on the other hand, the penalties that can be imposed on violators range from fineat the deduction of points in the world ranking of drivers and manufacturersat the disqualification for a matchat the limitations in testsat the reduction of the budget ceiling for the following year even untilexclusion from the championship.

In the specific case, therefore, answering the question where we started from, it seems difficult that the sanction that Red Bull and Max Verstappen would be awardedif the exceeded budget cap of approximately $9 million for the 2021 season were certified, is retroactive and therefore changes the result of the last Formula 1 World Championship won by the Dutchman who overtook Hamilton on the final lap of the final race, following a controversial decision by then FIA race director Michael Masi. More plausible instead of the penalties imposed on them relate to the championship currently in progress (especially in the case of reduction of points in the world ranking) or the 2023 season (if you choose budget limitations and/or in the development of the new car).

Source: Fan Page IT

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