The FIA have announced that two teams have breached the 2021 Financial Regulations. Following a thorough investigation and amidst big rumours during the Singapore Grand Prix, Red Bull in particular was found to not have met the spending limit.
The reported findings released on the back of the Japanese Grand Prix showed that Aston Martin are in procedural breach. Williams were also found to have committed a procedural breach back in May 2022 but the team rectified the situation in a "timely, cooperative and transparent manner" while being handed a $25.000 fine.
Rumors regarding Red Bull's overspend meanwhile have proven in accordance with the FIA's report, stating that Red Bull Racing have committed a procedural breach as well as a "minor financial overspend", meaning it amounts to less than 5% of the cost limit.
"The review of the Reporting Documentation submitted has been an intensive and thorough process, and all Competitors gave their full support in providing the required information to assess their financial situation during this first year of the Financial Regulations. The FIA Cost Cap Administration notes that all Competitors acted at all times in a spirit of good faith and cooperation throughout the process," stated the FIA.
"The FIA would also note that with respect to this first year of the application of the Financial Regulations the intervention of the FIA Cost Cap Administration has been limited to reviewing the submissions made by the Competitors and that no full formal investigations were launched.
"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."
Though both offenses can lead to financial implications for the team or even sporting penalties, no such penalty has been announced yet.
The findings raise eyebrows across the paddock with several competitors arguing that even a minor overspend could have made a significant impact on the 2021 Championship outcome as that battle was extremely close. Christian Horner himself said at the Monaco Grand Prix - at a time when an increase of the 2022 budget was being discussed due to high inflation - that an overspend of 4.5 million could have swung the World Championship.
Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto had also called for serious penalties as an overspend has a lasting effect for the team as they build on the knowledge advantage gained by spending more than others.
Red Bull Racing meanwhile insists via Twitter they did nothing wrong.
"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."