Formula 1’s mechanic of the budget cap is supposed to make the competition fairer for everybody so that the gap between the field decreases, and the big teams can’t financially dominate the others. A breach of less than or 5 million over the budget cap is considered ‘minor’, carrying a fine or a comparatively small sporting penalty, but anything above the 5 million mark is taken far more seriously.
Recently, there emerged reports by AMuS that 2 teams – rumoured to be Aston Martin and Red Bull were under investigation for a violation of the cost cap in 2021, and Red Bull in particular, for a significant violation. But the penalties in case of a violation are not clearly defined.
On the investigation’s result, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko said while talking to Sky Germany that the team are ‘not worried’: “It is an ongoing process, ongoing discussions where certain points are clarified. We are not very worried at the moment. It’s just surprising that this was made public.” but he could not confirm what the result of the investigation.
Helmut Marko displeased with budget cap ‘investigation’ being made public
As mentioned, it is an ongoing investigation, and for all we know, it could go both ways. But even if Red Bull are found to be in violation of the cost cap, there is no particular idea about the punishment will entail. In fact, there is not even a lot of information about the process of checking, but Helmut Marko did clarify a bit:
“Various accountants from the FIA are with our accountants and then a discussion arises about positions, who works where. We have different companies: RB Advanced Technologies, RB Technology, RB Powertrains, & you have to separate them very clearly.” adding that he can’t comment on the result: “No I can’t comment at the moment, it’s an ongoing process. From our point of view, no!”
“Like I said before it is an ongoing process. There are points in the budget that do not belong in it, as already mentioned people are listed who work in the other companies.” and added that he’s surprised that the investigation was made public: “The FIA says they don‘t know. But it‘s weird that points from an ongoing process, which haven‘t been newly clarified yet, were made public. It‘s damaging to reputation..”
The FIA has not reached any conclusions yet, but if Red Bull are found to have violated the cost cap, then a great controversy is likely to erupt, especially considering how last year’s championship had ended.