Red Bull and Max Verstappen could lose 2021 F1 title over cost-cap breach: Reports

F1 Grand Prix of The Netherlands - Qualifying
The latest revelation could cost Max Verstappen and Red Bull their 2021 title

Max Verstappen and Red Bull could end up losing the 2021 F1 title over the cost cap breach.

According to the latest report issued by Auto Motor und Sport (AMuS), the Austrian team might have breached the cost cap last year by a whopping $10 million. If that is the case, then the team would have crossed the 5% threshold for a minor violation. According to the FIA standard procedure, a breach of up to 5% of the budget is considered a minor violation.

A minor violation from the Austrian outfit would mean the team receiving either a monetary fine or a sporting penalty. It comes down to the FIA to decide which one to levy. If the breach crosses 5%, however, it becomes a major violation and the team could be looking at sporting penalties from points deduction to a championship disqualification.

#F1: The competition is foaming. There are high numbers circulating about the alleged breach of Red Bull against the 2021 financial regulations. What penalty could the FIA impose? #AMuS:…

Here's what the latest report from AMuS states:

“The latest twist could cause an earthquake. Apparently two teams have exceeded the budget cap. The teams were allowed to spend a maximum of 148.6 million US dollars in 2021. Red Bull and Aston Martin are said to have been about it. One clearly over it, the other not quite so much.”

Mentioning the gravity of this much spare overspend, the report states:

“Figures are circulating in the paddock that Red Bull could have exceeded ten million dollars. That would be a capital offense. Invoices are made immediately. That amount could employ 100 engineers for $100,000. That would inevitably increase the output of the development department. Ten million: Many teams don’t even have that much budget for mid-season upgrades. Alfa-Sauber team boss Frederic Vasseur provides information: “We only have 2.4 million to develop our car during the year.”

Earlier in an interview, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff had claimed that Red Bull's cost cap breach was an open secret in the paddock. He said:

“It’s funny Christian [Horner, Red Bull team principal] says that because it’s been weeks and months they’re being investigated, so maybe he doesn’t speak to his CFO. As a matter of fact, all of us have been investigated diligently. And as far as we understand, there’s a team in minor breach, which is more procedural, and another team that is fundamentally massively over and that is being still looked after. So that’s an open secret in the paddock.”

Red Bull boss claps back at Mercedes' comments

Earlier, Christian Horner appeared furious when talking to the media as he questioned how the Mercedes boss would know about Red Bull's submission and the status of their assessment. He termed the comments defamatory and absolutely unacceptable, saying:

“I have no idea on the condition of Mercedes’ submission, or Ferrari’s submission. How does he think he knows that our submission is? These are defamatory statements and absolutely unacceptable. The FIA itself says that they have not yet completed their investigation. It is no coincidence that this has come out now that Max can take the title.”
Horner is clearly livid about accusations that Red Bull has breached the cost cap, saying rival teams are "bang out of order", speaking of defamation and that "those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones". Even went as far as questioning a journalist's impartiality... #F1

Wednesday, the day when the FIA issues the cost cap certificates to the teams, seems like it cannot come soon enough.

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Edited by Anurag C
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