Red Bull: Budget cap penalty 'significant' but better to 'close the book'

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner has insisted the team's penalty for breaching the budget cap last year is "significant".

On Friday, the full details of their 'minor overspend' in 2021 were revealed with Red Bull exceeding the cap by $2.2m, although had the team correctly applied a tax credit that figure would have reduced dramatically to just $500k.

Including in that amount though were matters completely unrelated to the performance of the car on track, such as catering, employees' social security and more.

As a result, Red Bull entered into an Accepted Breach Agreement with the FIA, penalising them $7m and imposing a 10% reduction in aero testing in 2023.

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On Friday, Horner gave a detailed press conference in Mexico outlining the timeline and the lack of any indication from the governing body that anything was wrong with their budget cap submission until last month.

Once aware of the breach, the Red Bull chief then explained the process of reaching the ABA.

“Obviously there was debate about the sanction and the size of the sanction,” he said. “It was delayed because of the sad news about Dietrich Mateschitz last weekend, but was concluded early this week where we’ve been provided with a significant penalty – both financially and sportingly.

"The $7m is an enormous amount of money, but the more draconian part is the sporting penalty. It is an enormous amount that represents between a quarter and half a second worth of lap time.

"That has a direct effect on next year's car and will be in place for 12 months."

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While Red Bull has maintained their innocence in the case, with the FIA also noting there was no bad intent from the team, Horner believes the ABA is a price worth paying for the sake of F1.

"We accept that this set of financial regulations is immature, we accept this FIA administration has inherited these regulations, and there's an awful lot of work for the future," he said.

"Had we dragged it out through the process to an appeal, it would have taken months, and beyond that.

"The amount of speculation, commenting and sniping that has been going on in the paddock, we thought it was in everyone's interest that we close the book here and today.

"We accept the penalties. Collectively we have a duty of care, and together with the other entrants, there are lessons for everyone to learn.

"The cost cap is an important part of F1. With such a new concept of incredibly complex regulations, it's all different between all of those entities so that's why we've chosen to accept it but as I say, it's time to put it to bed and move on."