Aston Martin fined $450k for F1 cost cap procedural breach

Aston Martin has been fined $450,000 by the FIA under an Accepted Breach Agreement for its procedural infringements of last year’s Formula 1 budget cap rules.

Aston Martin fined $450k for F1 cost cap procedural breach

The FIA announced after the Japanese Grand Prix that both Aston Martin and Red Bull were found to have breached the financial regulations for 2021 after completing their audits.

Although Aston Martin was under the cost cap for last year - unlike Red Bull, which received a $7m fine and a reduction in aerodynamic testing on Friday - the FIA deemed it had committed a procedural breach, meaning it had to enter talks with F1’s governing body about an Accepted Breach Agreement.

In a statement issued on Friday morning, the FIA explained that Aston Martin had “inaccurately excluded and/or adjusted costs in the calculation of its relevant costs,” including areas such as costs for its new headquarters, windtunnel additional fees and costs relating to its new F1 simulator.

As a result, Aston Martin has been fined $450,000 that must be paid within the next 30 days.

The FIA said there was “no accusation or evidence” that Aston Martin had “sought at any time to act in bad faith, dishonesty or in a fraudulent manner” throughout the process.

It also deemed that Aston Martin “did not gain or seek to gain any advantage from the inaccurate exclusions or adjustments of certain costs” in its submission.

“The Cost Cap Administration considered it appropriate, in these circumstances, to offer to Aston Martin an ABA to resolve this matter on the terms set out below, given the limited nature of the breach in issue, and AMR’s willingness to accept the breach and to cooperate with the Cost Cap Administration,” the statement adds, leading to the offer being accepted.

It means the matter is now closed, with no mechanism in place for any appeal or action to be taken by Aston Martin.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing Press Conference

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing Press Conference

Photo by: FIA Pool

According to the FIA’s statement, the costs that had been incorrectly excluded or adjusted by Aston Martin were:

1. Cost pursuant to Article 3.1(h)(i) of the Financial Regulations (concerning costs in respect of the new F1 Team headquarters)
2. Understatement of Relevant Costs in respect of the provision set forth by Article 4.1(b)(ii) (concerning R&D tax credit)
3. Costs pursuant to Article 3.1(h)(i) of the Financial Regulations (concerning cost in respect of the new F1 simulator)
4. Cost pursuant to Article 3.1(o) of the Financial Regulations (concerning wind tunnel additional fees)
5. Cost pursuant to Article 3.1(i) of the Financial Regulations (concerning certain signing bonus cost)
6. Understatement of Relevant Costs in respect of provisions set forth by Article 4.1(a)(ii) of the Financial Regulations (concerning the use of Transferable Components)
7. Understatement of Relevant Costs in respect of provision set forth by Article 4.1(f)(i)(B) of the Financial Regulations (concerning Used Inventories)
8. Cost pursuant to Articles 3.1(h)(i) and 3.1(i) of the Financial Regulations (concerning service desk costs)
9. Cost pursuant to Article 3.1(i) of the Financial Regulations (concerning cost of catering services provided to personnel at its factory headquarters)
10. Cost pursuant to Article 3.1(i) of the Financial Regulations (concerning cost of desks and chairs)
11. Understatement of Relevant Costs in respect of provisions set forth by Article 4.1(h) of the Financial Regulations (concerning unrecorded costs and losses in respect of the cost of services rendered by sponsors)
12. Cost pursuant to Article 3.1(j) of the Financial Regulations (concerning cost of services rendered by outsourced personnel)

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