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Aston Martin and Red Bull are exceeding the F1 budget cap

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Aston Martin and Red Bull are exceeding the F1 budget cap

Last year, F1 implemented a budget restriction in an effort to level the playing field for teams and improve the sport’s sustainability. Although certain modifications have been made to accommodate for more races and inflation, it was set at $145 million in 2021 and decreased to $140 million this year.

The team’s financial records for 2021 will be analysed by F1’s regulatory body, which will release its findings next week. These findings will show if the cost ceiling was violated last year. According to a report in Auto Motor und Sport on Friday, Red Bull and Aston Martin may have gone over the allotted amount. If this is the case, severe consequences, including championship elimination, may follow.

Later, team managers at Mercedes and Ferrari described the suspected violations as a “open secret.”

Red Bull and Aston Martin both stated they had filed their 2021 paperwork, were in communication with the FIA, and were “awaiting certification” when ESPN contacted them about the media stories.

The 2021 season’s accounts are at issue, which, if Red Bull is found to be in violation of, will reignite discussion regarding Max Verstappen’s title triumph, which was already clouded in controversy due to the way FIA race director Michael Masi handled a last-lap safety car restart at the last race.

However, it would also have an effect on this year’s championship race because a sizeable portion of the money used to create this year’s car came from last year’s budget. Although Japan is a more likely location for his victory, Verstappen is on the verge of winning the championship and may do it as soon as this weekend.

Since the cost cap was just implemented in 2021, there is no historical precedence for suspected financial regulation violations.

However, the FIA’s rule book provides a lengthy list of possible sanctions that are divided into three categories: “financial penalty,” “minor sporting penalty,” and “material sporting penalty.” These sanctions range from fines to championship exclusion.

If the expenditure is less than 5%, a minor sporting penalty or financial penalty will be assessed; anything over than 5% may result in a substantial sporting punishment.

Minor sanctions include a public censure, a decrease in the cost limits for the next year, a point loss (for constructors and drivers), suspension from championship events, restrictions on the ability to undertake aerodynamic testing, and a public censure. All of the aforementioned, as well as elimination and suspension from tournaments, are considered material sports sanctions.

A representative for the governing body said the following in a statement on Friday: “The FIA is now completing its evaluation of the financial information for 2021 that all Formula One teams have provided. If there are any alleged violations of the financial restrictions, they will be handled formally in accordance with the regulations.”

After several scathing remarks about Red Bull growth this year from competitors, rumours regarding the overspending began to circulate.

Ferrari team manager Mattia Binotto stated in August: “A team’s interpretation and execution of the financial laws may differ from another team’s. And we are aware that a powerful FIA is necessary to ensure that they are properly focusing; otherwise, the rules won’t be fair and equal.”

Williams was penalised $25,000 earlier this year for missing a deadline to submit the team’s 2021 financial statements, albeit it was only a minor infraction that was immediately rectified in Williams’ favour along with the payment.

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