The FIA’s delayed report into F1 teams’ spending found Red Bull to have overstepped last season’s $145m cap by less than five percent, or $7.25m. 

Such an offence is classed as “minor”, the lower of the two categories of breach. 

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F1’s governing body said the process into determining a potential punishment had not yet been completed. 

Mercedes and Ferrari have called for any violation of the cost cap to be met with severe punishment, though that is not expected. 

What penalty could be imposed? 

The FIA has several options when it comes to penalising a “minor” breach of F1’s financial regulations. 

This ranges from a public reprimand to a financial penalty and/or minor sporting penalties. 

The full list is as follows: 

  • Public reprimand
  • Deduction of Constructors’ Championship points awarded for the Championship that took place within the Reporting Period of the breach; 
  • Deduction of Drivers’ Championship points awarded for the Championship that took place within the Reporting Period of the breach; 
  • Suspension from one or more stages of a Competition or Competitions, excluding for the avoidance of doubt the race itself; 
  • Limitations on ability to conduct aerodynamic or other Testing; and/or
  • Reduction of the Cost Cap

In theory the FIA could strip Max Verstappen of his 2021 world title but a points deduction or a suspension from a stage of the competition are not thought to be likely punishments.