F1: Red Bull Reportedly Breached Development Cost Cap in 2021 & 2022 Seasons

Red Bull could be in trouble if it is revealed that it breached the F1 development cost cap and it will bring the legitimacy of Max Verstappen’s championship winning campaign under question.

By Sahil Gupta


2 mins read


Published on October 1, 2022

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  • Verstappen’s world championship win last year was already under shade because of the Abu Dhabi last lap fiasco
  • This will further add fuel to the fire if the car’s development was proven to be illegal
  • Ferrari was suspicious of Red Bull’s ability to rework its chassis with the budget cap

Red Bull and Aston Martin have been reportedly to have breached the F1 cost cap on development. Reports indicate that FIA is currently investigating Red Bull and Aston Martin for breaching the F1 cost cap which kicked in 2021 and may release a report on the weekend of the Japanese GP. It has been reported that Aston Martin’s transgressions are said to be minor and is said to be less than 5% of the budget cap which is estimated to be around 7 million dollars. Red Bull’s transgressions are said to be more severe which could have huge ramifications on how the world championship is mapped out. It is said to have breached the cost cap by more than 5%.

Red Bull’s rapid pace of development has been something that Ferrari has questioned a couple of times this year as Mattia Binotto, the team boss of the prancing horse believed that such rapid updates were beyond its capabilities with the budget cap.

Red Bull was also embroiled in a titanic fight for the World Championship with Mercedes last year and it was amongst the last two switch focus towards the 2022 car, yet right out of the box its car was competitive and up there with Ferrari. As the season has progressed, Red Bull’s car has proven to be more reliable and faster than Ferrari.

Toto Wolff, the team boss of Mercedes has estimated that extra spend of 5 million dollars could be be worth half a second of lap time on the track which is massive. And Red Bull is said to have exceeded even beyond that.

"The cost cap is probably the most important evolution of regulations in order to keep a level playing field," said Wolff.

"And to allow teams that haven't got the full budget to catch up and to put the ceiling onto the spending of the top teams. So, it is of huge importance for a demonstration that these regulations are policed,” he added.

Wolff added that if a team has been in breach in 2021, likely it will be in breach for at least another two years. He also added that benefits of a breach from one year can last for multiple years.

As far as sanctions are concerned, Red Bull could potentially be even excluded from the championship and many believe this will be a stern test for FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem who took over the reigns from Jean Todd earlier this year. 

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