All the speculation surrounding the consequences that Red Bull would be facing for having been in breach of the 2021 cost-cap regulations has come to a conclusion.
The FIA has confirmed that the Milton Keynes-based team has been fined $7 million which has to be paid within the next 30 days. The fine accompanies a Minor Sporting Penalty, as per which there will be a 10% reduction in the time given for car development and aerodynamic testing, and the Restricted Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) limits for the 2023 season.
This is a lot lesser than what had been speculated before, given that the likes of Martin Brundle had predicted a severe 25% reduction in the wind tunnel time. The team reportedly overspent by $2.2 million, which amounts to a 1.6% breach of the cost cap that was permitted in the 2021 season and is considered to be a "minor breach of regulation". A minor breach could ideally be anywhere up to 5%, making Red Bull's overspending well within the range.
Red Bull had previously denied the allegations but have now taken the Accepted Breach Agreement (ABA) and continue to claim that the sanction is greater than what it should have been. This essentially means that the team has acknowledged that the documentation regarding the costs in 2021 "incorrectly excluded and/or adjusted costs". The reason why the sanction is not as great as many would have previously expected is because the FIA acknowledged that, as reported in the Red Bull Racing Public Summary ABA:
"Had RBR applied the correct treatment within its Full Year Reporting Documentation of RBR's Notional Tax Credit within its 2021 submission of a value of £1,431,348, it would have been considered by the Cost Cap Administration to be in compliance with Article 4.1(b) of the Regulations and therefore RBR's Relevant Costs for the 2021 Reporting Period would have in fact exceeded the 2021 Cost Cap by £432,652."
This essentially means that the true value of the cost cap breach would be a mere 0.37%, as compared to the current state where it is taken as a 1.6% breach. The team is also expected to pay the fee for the Cost Cap Administration, through which the ABA was prepared. The team has no opportunity to make an appeal in this case. In the event that Red Bull fails to meet the terms of the agreement, it could result in a "further Procedural Breach" and could lead to further consequences.
Sergio Perez ready to give his all to win 2022 F1 Mexican GP with Red Bull
In a media interaction ahead of the race, the Red Bull driver said:
"Of course, I want to win this weekend – this is my target, this is the target for everyone who is sitting here and coming to this weekend, also for Max [Verstappen] – so we are all very competitive and we all want to get the victory on Sunday, so we're going to give it all we possibly can to achieve that."
Last season, Perez became the first Mexican F1 driver to take the podium in his home race.