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Formula One fans have slammed the FIA for the punishment handed down to Red Bull for breaching the cost cap in 2021. Christian Horner’s team only received a £6million fine and a 10% reduction in car development time over the next 12 months, meaning Max Verstappen will keep the title that he won at Lewis Hamilton’s expense last season.
Red Bull entered an accepted breach agreement with the FIA, taking responsibility for their overspending last year and received a penalty as a result. The energy drink giants breached the budget by £1,864,000 (1.6%) but it was acknowledged they were actually only over by £432,652 (0.37%) after the team incorrectly applied tax credits.
However, the punishment received a furious response from Formula One fans who felt Red Bull should have been dealt with more harshly and took to Twitter to vent their opinions. Many felt the team had got away with their actions, describing the situation as a farce.
@Yopsycles wrote: “Spineless. 10% is absolutely nothing. Red Bull cheated and got away with it”, while @Tikatakaconnor said: “The circus gets even more farcical. The FIA clearly can’t govern the sport. Embarrassing.”
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Meanwhile, @Jayhassett responded: “Red Bull overspend the cost cap and only get punished based on the punishments outlined in the Regulations the teams all agreed to for overspends on the cost cap?! Absolutely Disgraceful!”
Others were more concerned about the precedent it would set for the future, claiming other teams would now feel free to break the rules.
@notlimah44 wrote: “Basically they’re encouraging teams to breach the cost cap if this is the extent of the penalties.” Furthermore, @kingsbesideme directly queried the future: “So where’s the deterrent?? $7m to a company like RB is a drop in the ocean. They could’ve made an example of them to show breaking rules, however ‘minor’ is not tolerated but no. No deterrent for other teams to do the same now. What a joke.”
For their part the FIA argued the punishment was proportional given the size of the breach and Red Bull’s continued co-operation.
The statement released by the governing body read: “The Cost Cap Administration recognised that Red Bull Racing has acted cooperatively throughout the review process and has sought to provide additional information and evidence when requested in a timely manner, that this is the first year of the full application of the Financial Regulations and that there is no accusation or evidence that RBR (Red Bull Racing) has sought at any time to act in bad faith, dishonestly or in fraudulent manner, nor has it wilfully concealed any information from the Cost Cap Administration
“In these circumstances, the Cost Cap Administration offered to RBR an accepted breach agreement to resolve this matter. That offer was accepted by RBR.”
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