The team will be fined but Max Verstappen will keep his world title.
Formula One team Red Bull has been fined $7 million after breaching a budget cap, although the punishment means driver Max Verstappen will not be stripped of the world title he won last season.
Motor racing governing body the FIA confirmed the punishment in a statement on Friday, after Red Bull was found to have overspent by around $2 million during the 2021 season.
The FIA said Red Bull had acted “cooperatively throughout the review process,” and that there was “no accusation or evidence that [the team] has sought at any time to act in bad faith, dishonestly or in fraudulent manner, nor has it willfully concealed any information from the Cost Cap Administration.”
The announcement said an ‘Accepted Breach Agreement’ had been reached between the sides, which will see Red Bull’s aerodynamic testing time reduced by 10% next year.
The cost overspend was put at 1.6% beyond the limit of $145 million, meaning it was officially deemed a “minor breach.”
As part of the ruling, Red Bull has given up any right to appeal the decision.
Perhaps most crucially, the sanction means that the Red Bull team – which is based in the UK and headed by Christian Horner – will not face the prospect of a points deduction for last season.
Dutchman Verstappen won the 2021 F1 title last December, overtaking reigning champion Lewis Hamilton on the last lap of an extraordinary final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.
The win came in contentious circumstances after debate surrounding the use of the safety car in the closing stages of the Grand Prix.
Red Bull’s victory in the drivers’ championship – which was its first in eight years – had infuriated Mercedes and seven-time world champion Hamilton, although they did pip their rivals to the constructors’ title.
Earlier this month, the news of a Red Bull price cap breach had led to calls from some F1 competitors for a harsh punishment, and others in the paddock may feel the team has been let off lightly.
Red Bull driver Verstappen, 25, has already wrapped up the drivers’ championship this season after winning at the Japanese Grand Prix earlier this month, while teammate Sergio Perez lies third in the overall standings, just two points behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
There are three races remaining of the 2022 season, starting in Mexico this weekend.