Martin Brundle has criticised the definition of a "minor" breach of the budget cap following the news that Red Bull have been found to have breached the 2021 cost limits by the FIA.
With a limit of $145 million to spend, all 10 teams submitted their accounts to the governing body for scrutiny to ensure compliance with the new regulations.
However, Red Bull have been found to have committed a Minor Overspend Breach offence, as well as procedural ones, with Aston Martin also at fault procedurally but remaining below the prescribed limit. Red Bull have since voiced their "surprise and disappointment" at the findings.
The statement from the FIA does not suggest by how much the team overspent by in the 2021 season, although a minor overspend breach is within five per cent of the $145 million limit, a definition that Brundle is surprised by.
"The thing that is actually crazy to me is that a minor breach can be up to five per cent overspend on the cost cap. That's $7 million," Brundle told Sky Sport's Any Driven Monday.
"We know that's a massive upgrade on a car, maybe even a B-spec for some teams. So that needs tightening up for starters, because what's the point of having $140 million, whatever the number ends up being, and then having this five per cent variance?"
Brundle questions potential punishments for cost cap breach
Punishments for those in breach of the cost cap have yet to be announced, and Brundle has questioned the various options that the FIA could take.
"I'm assuming that the FIA will have to crack down hard on any minor breaches, but it looks like it could be a reprimand or a fine," the former F1 driver said.
"Will they want to revisit points? Will they be manufacturers' points or drivers' points for 2021?
"Other teams are saying, 'This gives you a head start into '22, the cars are carried over into '23, so this is a big advantage'.
"So what will their penalties be? How hard do the FIA want to be on this?
"Christian Horner told me it's an interpretation issue on a number of items. They thought they were under [the cost cap], some things have been included now.
"So it's not, it appears, the great crime that we were being told by other team principals in Singapore, so we now await the news."
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Cost cap "brilliant" but needs tightening up, says Brundle
Brundle believes that the cost cap system is "brilliant", but acknowledges the difficulty the FIA face in creating the regulations behind it.
As such, the TV pundit thinks that the rules needs to be made clearer.
"Something that equalises all of these different 10 teams in Formula 1 is very hard to do," Brundle explained.
"It's obviously very complex, so we'll see if the FIA want to come down hard on the first year of that.
"But certainly it needs tightening up, because the other teams will be under pressure: 'Why didn't you do this? Why didn't you overspend a bit and pay a fine or get a slap on the wrist and go a tenth or two faster?'
"So we need clarity and it needs to be rigid, and a five per cent variance is way too much."
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