Max Verstappen's 2021 title safe as FIA releases F1 cost-cap breach report

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi
Race winner and 2021 F1 World Drivers Champion Max Verstappen celebrates with his team after the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on December 12, 2021. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

After delaying the matter, the FIA has released the F1 cost-cap breach report for the 2021 season. While the FIA has not levied any penalties yet, the results of the investigation have seemingly ensured that Max Verstappen's first world championship title remains secure.

According to the report, Red Bull have been found guilty and are considered to be in "Procedural and Minor Overspend Breaches of the Financial Regulations". Meanwhile, Aston Martin is in "Procedural Breach of the Financial Regulations". All other teams reportedly functioned in compliance with the regulations in the 2021 F1 season.

The official FIA report on the F1 cost-cap breach investigation reads:

“The FIA confirms that its Cost Cap Administration has now completed the review of the Reporting Documentation submitted by each Competitor that participated in the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship in respect of the 2021 Reporting Period ending on 31 December 2021.

The FIA Cost Cap Administration has issued certificates of compliance to seven of the ten competitors, stating:

“Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team is considered to be in Procedural Breach of the Financial Regulations; Oracle Red Bull Racing is considered to be in Procedural and Minor Overspend Breaches of the Financial Regulations.

Williams was found to be in compliance with the financial regulations after having resolved the matter of the Procedural Breach earlier this year in May. The report stated:

“Williams Racing has complied with the Financial Regulations in respect of the 2021 Reporting Period with the exception of a previous Procedural Breach (in regard to which the Cost Cap Administration entered into an ABA with Williams in May 2022. This Procedural Breach was then remediated by Williams in a timely, cooperative and transparent manner).

The FIA has not penalized Red Bull or Aston Martin for their breach of regulations so far, stating:

“The FIA Cost Cap Administration is currently determining the appropriate course of action to be taken under the Financial Regulations with respect to Aston Martin and Red Bull and further information will be communicated in compliance with the Regulations.

"I'm totally confused" - Former F1 driver on Max Verstappen's "anti-climatic" title win

Former F1 driver David Coulthard, like most people, was left confused after the 2022 F1 Japanese Grand Prix. The race saw Max Verstappen secure his second consecutive world championship title under rather unusual circumstances. Despite having the race cut short due to heavy rain and dangerous conditions, all drivers in the top 10 were awarded full points, handing the Red Bull driver enough points to secure the F1 title.

Speaking to Channel 4, Coulthard said:

“I’m totally confused. Normally they [the stewards] take about three days to make a decision, so they must have flights booked out of Japan. It is a bit of an anti-climax in the moment, he [Verstappen] didn’t get to celebrate on his slowing down lap. But that said, thoroughly deserved, he was the man of the season and he had four more opportunities, as I said earlier, to go racing free in the fact that he is world champion again.”

With confirmation from the FIA report, the Dutchman officially remains a double-world champion.

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Edited by Anurag C