Red Bull Racing has been found to be in breach of the F1 budget cap for its 2021 campaign, the FIA said on Friday.
The 2021 season, which saw Red Bull's Max Verstappen crowned world champion, was the first for the cost cap regulations and all 10 F1 teams were required to submit documents detailing their spending for the season in March of this year. Only Red Bull was found to be in breach of the cap.
However, the breach was only a minor one and according to the FIA, there was no evidence Red Bull had sought at any time to act in “bad faith, dishonestly or in fraudulent manner.”
The cost cap for 2021 was set at $145 million and Red Bull was determined to have exceeded it by 1.6%, which is within the 5% window to be classified as a minor breach. The FIA also said it acknowledged that if Red Bull had applied a correct treatment of a notional tax credit in the submission, the cost cap would have only been exceeded by 0.37%.
In consideration of these factors, Red Bull ended up with a relatively minor penalty consisting of a fine of $7 million and a 10% reduction in allocated time for wind tunnel testing and computational fluid dynamics work.
Red Bull isn't the only team to run afoul of the cost cap regulations. Earlier this year, Williams was fined $25,000 for running late with the submission of its documents.
The cost cap was introduced to help even the playing field between the big-budget teams and the smaller players. The cap was reduced to $140 million for 2022 and will be reduced again to $135 million for 2023 through 2025, with allowances made for any season containing more than 21 rounds.