Red Bull have hit back at the FIA after they were found guilty of breaching the sport’s cost cap in 2021 and have hinted that they will appeal the decision. Christian Horner’s team have confirmed they will consider ‘all the options available to us’ as they reel from the shock of being found guilty.
Red Bull had been confident they would avoid any sanction for breaching the cost cap, given their firm belief they had fallen below it however this was quashed by the FIA. The sport’s governing found the team guilty of a ‘minor’ breach meaning they went over the £114million cap by a figure of less than 5%.
The statement, released on their Twitter page read: “We note the findings with surprise and disappointment. Our 2021 submission was below the cost cap limit so we need to carefully review the FIA’s findings as our belief remains that the relevant costs are under the 2021 cost cap amount.
“Despite the conjecture and positioning of others, there is of course a process under the regulations with the FIA which we will respectfully follow while we consider all the options available to us.”
It is yet unknown what penalty Red Bull will receive for their breach with the FIA holding a range of options including financial and minor sporting penalties. It is widely expected that they will go down the route of fines meaning Max Verstappen’s maiden title win should be safe however this is by no means guaranteed at this stage.
It a statement the FIA confirmed they are currently weighing up what penalties to place on Red Bull and Aston Martin, who were found guilty of a minor procedural breach.
It read: “The FIA Cost Cap Administration is currently determining the appropriate course of action to be taken under the Financial Regulations with respect to Aston Martin and Red Bull and further information will be communicated in compliance with the Regulations.”
Red Bull would have the right to appeal any penalty if they believed it to be unjust, something which is clearly already on the team’s mind.
The decision seems to have come as something of a surprise to team chief Horner who only this morning was strong in his belief that they had done nothing wrong.
“We’re very confident we’re within the cap and within those financial regulations,” he told BBC Radio 4 earlier this morning. “So we’ve been shocked at the speculation and accusations that have been made by other teams. We wait for the FIA to conclude their process and we wait to see what comes out.
“Anything other than compliance we’ll be extremely surprised at.”
Only time will tell what kind of penalty the FIA will give Red Bull but it is clear the team are raging at the decision. Given the early hints at an appeal it is clear that Formula One fans may be yet to hear the end of this particular saga.