Red Bull and Aston Martin named in F1 budget cap breach claims

F1 is braced for a fresh scandal amid claims that two teams are believed to have breached last year’s budget cap. 
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull

Two reports emerged on Friday - in Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport and Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport - reflecting suspicions in the F1 paddock that Red Bull are thought to have violated the $145m budget cap for 2021. 

Aston Martin were also named in the reports but niether team have been officially confirmed to have broken the financial regulations. 

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According to AMuS, one of the teams is thought to have exceeded last year’s limit by a “considerable extent”. 

F1’s governing body the FIA are expected to announce the result of the first cost cap review for the 2021 season next week, ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix. 

A team spokesperson told that Aston Martin “have submitted our 2021 reporting, we are in discussion with the FIA, and we are awaiting certification.” 

Lance Stroll (CDN) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR22. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 16, Italian Grand Prix, Monza, Italy, Race
Lance Stroll (CDN) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR22. Formula 1 World… approached Red Bull for comment but the team are yet to respond. 

A minor breach is considered to be anything less than 5%, which would work out at around $7m for last year’s $145m cap.

An FIA spokesperson said: “The FIA is currently finalising the assessment of the 2021 financial data submitted by all Formula 1 teams. Alleged breaches of the Financial Regulations, if any, will be dealt with according to the formal process set out in the regulations.”

It is not clear at this stage what the punishment would be for such a breach. 

If Red Bull are found guilty, it would only deepen the pain felt by Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton regarding the controversial conclusion of last year’s world championship in Abu Dhabi. 

A mishandled Safety Car period enabled Max Verstappen to deny Hamilton a record-breaking eighth world title in a contentious last-lap sprint to decide the championship. 

Such a revelation would also anger Ferrari, with team principal Mattia Binotto already questioning the policing of the financial regulations and suspecting Red Bull of overspending in 2022. 

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