Former World Champion Mika Hakkinen says Red Bull's penalty for breaching Formula 1's cost cap will ensure that other teams will not contravene the sport's regulations in this way.
After auditing the ten F1 teams' finances for the 2021 season, the FIA decreed that Red Bull had overspent the $145 million cost cap by about $1.8 million, after catering, sick pay, spare parts and tax problems pushed the team over the limit.
For this, Red Bull have received a $7 million fine and had their wind tunnel and CFD allowance docked by 10 percent for next season.
With F1's news cycle having been dominated by speculation over Red Bull's potential sanction for several weeks, Hakkinen says he is relieved that a ruling has been handed down.
"The first thing to say is that I am glad this matter is now closed and the FIA's penalty accepted by Red Bull," Hakkinen told Unibet.
"With technical and sporting regulations you generally have a clear decision, for example if the car is under the weight limit or a driver goes outside the track limits, but with the financial regulations there was always likely to be a grey area.
"I think that is why everyone accepted two levels to breaking the budget cap – a minor or major overspend. The FIA recognised that there could be various levels of overspend and reasons for doing so."
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Hakkinen notes 'uncomfortable' experience for Red Bull
Hakkinen added that the biggest deterrent to other teams breaching the cost cap in future would be the reputational damage, rather than any other limitations.
"Red Bull's penalty for the minor overspend is still significant. Far more than the financial or aerodynamic penalty, it has been an uncomfortable experience for the team," said Hakkinen.
"The good thing is that no team will want to risk repeating this next year, so although it has been a very difficult and controversial moment for Red Bull, I believe it will benefit F1 in the long term, because every team boss will be determined not to have this kind of negative publicity in future."
F1 Podcast: Is Red Bull's cost cap penalty enough of a deterrent to others?
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the key issues from the United States Grand Prix, including whether Red Bull's cost cap penalty will deter others from breaching the budget limit.