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Red Bull Racing

Potential penalties for breaching F1 cost cap explained

Red Bull have committed a spending breach in the F1 cost cap regulations, with Aston Martin and Williams procedural breaches, but what are the potential penalties for Red Bull?

Verstappen Japan
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To news overview © Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

The long-awaited FIA cost cap report has been released showing three Formula 1 teams not to be in compliance with the financial regulations.

Both Aston Martin and Williams committed procedural, paperwork errors but remained below the $145 million limit imposed by the restrictions, while Red Bull committed a minor overspend breach as well as its own procedural mistakes.

But what are the potential penalties for breaching the cost cap in F1 - and what sanctions could Red Bull face?

Cost cap spending breaches

While it has not been confirmed by the FIA by how much Red Bull broke the spending limit, it was characterised as 'minor', meaning it is within 5%.

When the new rules were introduced F1 boss Ross Brawn declared them to have "teeth" with the threat of disqualification looming over any flagrant and serious breaches.

The possible penalties are as follows - ranging from a fine to disqualification:

  1. A fine - financial penalty to be determined on a case-by-case basis
  2. Public Reprimand
  3. Deduction of Constructors' Championship points
  4. Deduction of Drivers' Championship points
  5. Suspension from one or more stage of a season (such as qualifying, but excluding the race)
  6. Aerodynamic testing capability reduced
  7. Reduction in future cost cap limit.

A potential points deduction in 2021 for the Drivers' championship is seen as a worst case scenario as would mean altering the results of an already contentious season following the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen finished eight points ahead of Lewis Hamilton, with a reduction in future cost caps and development time seemingly the likely penalty when they are issued at a later date.

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