Red Bull F1 cost cap penalty: The 13 errors listed by the FIA

The FIA has listed 13 categories of adjusted or excluded costs that were incorrectly treated by the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team in its 2021 cost cap submission.

Red Bull F1 cost cap penalty: The 13 errors listed by the FIA

The governing body reports that the team "inaccurately excluded and/or adjusted costs amounting to a total of £5,607,000" in the submission it made in March last year and that in the final analysis, it overspent by £1,864,000.

So where did the team get it wrong?

The FIA has only made public the basic information in terms of which elements of the financial regulations were involved, but some information has emerged in recent weeks, and the public should learn more from Christian Horner later today.

Introducing the list, the FIA notes that "in accordance with the findings of the cost cap administration, Red Bull has acknowledged that the reporting documentation submitted by it included the following incorrectly".

So here is a closer look at what regulations are concerned:

1. Overstated excluded costs pursuant to Article 3.1(a) of the Financial Regulations (concerning catering services)

This is related to catering costs at the factory, and the inability to separate costs of feeding employees who don't come under the cap, such as admin and marketing, and those who do. The FIA insisted on including the total catering costs.

2. Costs pursuant to Article 3.1(w) of the Financial Regulations concerning consideration and associated employer's social security contributions)

This relates to excluding the costs of an "employee that has been formally placed on indefinite sick leave or disability leave". It's understood there was a disagreement relating to costs connected to a senior employee who was both ill and at the same time involved in a redundancy process.

3. Costs pursuant to Article 3.1(h)(i) of the Financial Regulations (in respect of Non-F1 Activities), as those costs had already been offset within Total Costs of the Reporting Group. 

This rule outlines the exclusions of "all costs directly attributable to non-F1 activities".

4. Costs pursuant to Article 3.1(k) of the Financial Regulations (in respect of bonus and associated employer's social security contributions)

This rule relates to the exclusion of employee bonuses, which RBR staff would have received after Max Verstappen's title success.

5. Understatement of Relevant Costs in respect of a gain on disposal of fixed assets by failing to make the necessary upwards adjustment.

The FIA has given no information on what assets were sold.

6. Costs pursuant to Article 3.1(q) of the Financial Regulations (concerning apprenticeship levies)

This rule relates to the exclusion of social security contributions and in this case apparently involved apprentices working at Red Bull.

7. Costs pursuant to Article 3.1(h)(ii)(i) of the Financial Regulations (concerning consideration and associated employer's social security contributions)

This rule relates to exclusion of "social security contributions incurred in respect of any personnel engaged in both F1 activities and non-F1 activities".

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, celebrates with his team on arrival in Parc Ferme

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, celebrates with his team on arrival in Parc Ferme

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

8. Understatement of Relevant Costs in respect of provisions set forth by Article 4.1(a)(i) of the Financial Regulations (concerning the cost of use of Power Units)

This rule states that any "power unit transaction in connection with an F1 activity must be included in relevant Costs at not less than fair value." In 2021 Red Bull was supplied with free works power units by Honda.

9. Costs pursuant to Article 3.1(h) (i) of the Financial Regulations (concerning consideration and associated employer's social security contributions)

As with item 3, this relates to excluding costs directly attributable to non-F1 activities.

10. Understatement of Relevant Costs in respect of provisions set forth by Article 4.1(f)(i)(B) of the Financial Regulations (concerning use of inventories)

This relates to allocating the costs of unused spare parts to the heritage department and thus taking them out of the cap. It is believed to be the single biggest item in this list, with Horner suggesting in Austin involves a seven-figure sum.

11. Clerical error in respect of RBR's calculation of certain costs re-charged to it by Red Bull Power Trains Limited.

This relates to the sister Powertrains division that was being set up during 2021.

12. Certain travel costs pursuant to Article 3.1(r) of the Financial Regulations

This rule relates to the exclusion of all flight and hotel costs in connection with a competition or testing of current cars by personnel.

13. Costs of maintenance pursuant to Article 3.1(i) of the Financial Regulations

This relates to the exclusion of "all costs directly attributable to human resources activities, finance activities or legal activities.

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