Verstappen says Red Bull have “strong belief” they did not exceed budget cap

2022 United States Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Max Verstappen says Red Bull are certain they did not exceed the budget cap when he won the world championship for the first time last year.

The FIA announced last week Red Bull had been found to have breached the $145 million spending limit last year, as well as committing a procedural violation of the Financial Regulations. Red Bull insists it did not overspend.

Verstappen told RaceFans and other media in Austin today Red Bull “have a strong belief” that they were within the budget cap in 2021.

“So that’s why, of course, we are discussing with them about it to show what we think is right,” Verstappen said. “But at the end of the day, it’s not up to me and I’m just focussed on the performance on-track.”

The FIA announced Red Bull’s breach on the day after Verstappen clinched his second world championship. “We knew it was coming,” he admitted, “[but] from our side we really believe that we are right.”

Asked whether Red Bull should enter into an Accepted Breach Agreement with the FIA, under which they would acknowledge having over-spent, Verstappen said: “I’ll see at that time, if we ever get to that stage.”

Verstappen’s team mate Sergio Perez believes rival teams are agitating for a penalty in order to reduce compromise the performance of Red Bull, who have won the last seven races in a row.

“Obviously I will leave it down to my team to solve that together with the FIA,” he said. “But at the end of the day there’s always teams that want to take performance out of you, especially when you are winning. So it’s part of the sport and this has been forever.

“I just think that it’s just a normal situation and everything at the end of the day, facts will come out and people will see and understand the situation.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 United States Grand Prix

Browse all 2022 United States Grand Prix articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

21 comments on “Verstappen says Red Bull have “strong belief” they did not exceed budget cap”

  1. If you close your eyes, cross your fingers, and BELIEEEEEVE hard enough, you will still be cheaters! (allegedly)

    1. It’s actually a pretty simple case and it all comes down to Newey. RBR consider him a direct employee, which exempts his salary from being part of the budget cap, BUT technically it sounds like RBR issued the payment to a company owned by Newey (obviously for tax dodging reasons for Newey) and not directly to his person.

      1. Not according to other sources.

        The overall figure involved is believed to be around $1.8m, which puts the offence well within the “minor breach” limit of 5% over the cap, or just over $7m.

        The team appears to have fallen foul of several areas of the FIA’s financial regulations, which have regularly been updated by amendments that have not been published on its website or made public.

        One is the allocation of the cost of catering at the factory and at the track. In addition, there are believed to be redundancy and sick pay issues related to key employees.

        A subject more directly involved to the cost of running the cars is the allocation of the value of unused spare parts.

        They were passed to the heritage department at the end of the season for use on show cars and any testing of the 2021 model in 2022, which falls outside the cap restrictions.

        It’s understood that the FIA issued a clarification in June this year, three months after teams submitted their documents, about how such parts were to be considered by teams.

        There is also a UK-specific tax issue which is believed to be similar to a procedural breach involving Aston Martin.

        1. 1. Sick leave & Unemployment compensation = 800K
          2. Catering not accounted for under RB F1 team = 1.2M
          3. Dan Fallows Garden Leave = ?
          4. Tax benefit “Research and Development Expenditure Credit” not received = 1.4M
          5. 2021 parts carried over into 2022 = ?

          On 4, they are still working on obtaining this. On 5, the rule changed after submission in March.

      2. It has nothing to do with Adrian Newey. That’s just a nasty lie!

  2. I feel if this were just about a minor catering charge RBR would come out and say, we spent an extra 100k on some drinks and foie gras and catering for an xmas party, which we think is not covered compensation, the FIA does, but they have it wrong, read the rules.

    Instead they are sort of cowering and not making their case. It’s weird because a short while ago they were accusing others of defamation so it’s not like they are given to careful crisis-management strategies.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      21st October 2022, 1:19

      I very much doubt it’s anything to do with something simple like catering – as you say, I imagine both Red Bull and the FIA would have said something already if that was the case as it would make this a bit of a non-issue.

      An area where I could see there being disagreement would be over Red Bull Powertrains and whether staff they moved to that project were also considered to be working on the car or not. It’s certainly a bit of a grey area! How can you guarantee that staff working for the engine department (not just for Red Bull, but for Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault as well) aren’t doing anything beyond purely working on the engine? How can you guarantee that any facilities or equipment are being used solely to work on the engine and aren’t borrowed occasionally for use by the team?

      Ultimately, until we know what part of their submission is in question, we don’t know if there actually was an overspend and we don’t know whether that overspend would lead to an actual performance advantage or not. The teams will keep complaining about it because that’s what people in F1 do but it’s all a bit pointless until we all know the facts.

    2. Wouldn’t surprise me if they said something on those lines but it’s a specious argument anyway – cherrypicking the classification of the overspend to an item in an innocuous category – as far removed from performance as possible. The cap is on all included activity – funds freed up from free-issue vol au vents end up as aero parts.

    3. I feel if this were just about a minor catering charge RBR would come out and say, we spent an extra 100k on some drinks and foie gras and catering for an xmas party, which we think is not covered compensation

      Yup, it was the gold leaf wrapping on the prime steak and gold leaf decoration on the cakes that tipped it.
      Michelin star catering is just the expected standard free meal these days, even at NHS facilities. Oh, it’s not? Ah, well.

  3. The thing about beliefs is they don’t have to be true. People believed the earth was the center of the solar system. People believed the earth was flat. People believe the moon landings were hoaxes. People believe covid vaccines are actually implanting government surveillance devices. Belief doesn’t make it true.

    1. True, people believe there is a god. I know there is none.

    2. Itsmeagain (@)
      21st October 2022, 7:49

      @g-funk exactly. The way people react on ‘the believe’ what people think to know about the breach is in the same category.

      1. Seems ‘believe’ and ‘hope’ go hand in hand for most teams and fans here. And that goes both ways too :-).

    3. I don’t think Max meant believe but convinced that is as Dutch man because believe is a strange wording in this matter.

  4. They also have a strong belief that no foul was committed when VER drove way off the track in Brazil last year or when he brake tested HAM. Same strong conviction means nothing from any of the teams.

  5. “It doesn’t matter what you believe, it only matters what you can prove.”

    1. Unfortunately Toto showed us a masterclass of this not being true again. He knows and uses the power of created perception like no other.

      1. Unfortunately Toto showed us a masterclass of this not being true again.

        Yer see, what I heard from Toto, among others, was that it was “an open secret in the paddock that 2 teams had breached, one more than the other” and what the FIA said was that two teams had breached, one procedurally (AM) and one in what is labelled as a “minor” breach (ORBR)

        Pre-FIA disclosure, CH made noises about leaks of private information. Never a proper denial, just a misdirection and then fluff about how bad a leak was.

        He knows and uses the power of created perception like no other.

        In this instance, and many others, that perception creation is solidly in the talent set of one Christian Horner.
        I’m currently unsure whether the number of team principals that don’t believe him is 9 or 8 (plus one abstainer for employment reasons)

        1. You nailed it on the head SteveP. Everybody is calling for a tough punishment from the FIA.
          I’d add that Verstappen called other teams “hypocrite”, insinuating that RB is merely doing what everybody is doing. That means, if you believe Verstappen, that everybody is cheating, and RB no more than the others. That’s a bold statement indeed.

  6. A champion by any means, by cheating himself, by cheating through his team, and through assisted cheating. Of course, his fans would say he is only a driver. Only? You would have thought someone as talented as he does not need all these cheatings, proven and unproven, to assist him to be a champion. Both championships are under circumstances that need explanations. Yet, very little was written about this. Fear of Red Bull? Worry that you might not be invited into hospitality suit again? No question about whether it tarnishes his achievement. Silent. Surely he could demand that his team operates with integrity so that his championship is not tarnished. Integrity must be a strange word for Verstappen. Him and Red Bull only bring reputational damage and the consistent accommodations afforded to him and his team begin to sound like F1 is a sport where winners can be negotiated, not won fairly. And oh, every driver in this field could drive his car and be a champion (Max’s words when Ham won). It is the car, not the driver, especially one that is produced with uncontrolled budget.

Comments are closed.