The FIA found Red Bull in “minor” breach of exceeding the 2021 season budget of $145m - meaning their overspend was less than $7.25m.
The three highest-earning members of an F1 team do not count within the cost cap but Ziggo Sports in the Netherlands report that Newey’s employment with Red Bull is a grey area.
"It probably has to do with Adrian Newey,” the report claims. “Newey is one of the top three earners in the team and the debate is over whether Newey is a Red Bull employee or a name on loan through his own company.
"Red Bull says 'he is employed by us' so he's not included in the budget cap because he's one of the three highest-paid names.
“The FIA said: 'No, he was hired through his company, so he comes from outside, so he should be included in the budget cap’.”
Newey is the chief technical officer for Red Bull - the brains behind the RB18 which Max Verstappen drove to win the 2022 F1 championship.
Newey has won constructor’s championships with three teams and has designed cars for seven driver’s champions.
The FIA are yet to decide on Red Bull’s punishment for breaching the cost cap.
It had previously been reported by Dutch media that “free lunch” for staff at the team’s headquarters was to blame for the overspend.