Why Red Bull ‘begrudgingly’ accepted their F1 cost cap penalty

Christian Horner says Red Bull “begrudgingly” accepted their F1 cost cap punishment for “everyone’s interest” in the sport. 
Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull
Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull

The FIA announced on Friday that it had struck an Accepted Breach Agreement with Red Bull after finding it had exceeded the $145m cost cap for 2021 by $2.2m. 

Red Bull has been hit with a $7m fine for the ‘minor’ breach, as well receiving a 10 percent reduction in their aerodynamic testing allowance over the next 12 months. 

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Horner, who warned the impact of the “draconian” penalty will be “enormous” for Red Bull’s development of their 2023 car, explained why his team choose the ABA route instead of appealing. 

“We accept that this set of regulations is immature, we accept this FIA administration has inherited these regulations, and there's an awful lot of work for the future,” he said during a press conference addressing the matter ahead of the Mexico City Grand Prix. 

“Had we dragged it out through the administration process, to got to an appeal, that could have taken months, and beyond that at the International Court of Appeal, that could have taken further months. So we could have been looking at a 12-month period to have this situation closed. 

“With the amount of speculation and commenting and sniping that has been going on in the paddock, we thought it was in everyone's interest to say that we close the book here and today.

"We accept the penalties, begrudgingly, but we accept them.  Collectively we have a duty of care, together with the other entrants, because in those 75,000 items not one other team has made a single error. 

“I think there are lessons for everyone to learn because I think the cost cap is an important part of F1 and its future. But it has to be in a manner that is consistent and applicable and developed. 

“With such a new concept of incredibly complex regulations around different entities, different subsidiary companies, companies that belong to OEMs, companies that are independent, companies that are subsidiaries of an energy drinks manufacturer, our structure and cost base, is all different between all of those entities. 

“So that is why we've chosen to accept it. We take it on the chin, but as I say, it's time to put it to bed and move on.”

Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing Team Principal during his press conference about cost cap breach. Formula 1 World
Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing Team Principal during his press…

Horner added: “Would the information have been any different with the appeal panel? 

“Within a new set of regulations like this, and of course with the suite of penalties that they have available within that, could be even more draconian. 

“Whilst we feel hard done by, that there were absolutely mitigating circumstances, to drag that process out, we didn’t feel, was in anyone's interest.

“It’s been a huge learning experience for us and I’m sure others have learnt watching from the sidelines. The cost cap is an important part of F1’s success in the future, but it need to applied in the right way. 

“To potentially blow that apart as well, would not have been the right thing to do.”

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