OCTOBER 4, 2022
No draconian penalty for Red Bull breach?
Red Bull looks set to escape a "draconian" penalty amid the budget cap scandal.
Although the FIA is only scheduled to issue its compliance 'certificates' on Wednesday, rumours filled the Singapore paddock last weekend about an up to $10 million budget cap breach.
"We must wait for the results to be published," former Mercedes boss Norbert Haug told motorsport-total.com.
"But if it can be proved that they exceeded the limit, the measures must be draconian. The budget cap is one of the most important aspects of the entire Formula 1 regulations.
"If it is not observed, everything else does not matter at all."
Haug's opinion is shared by many in the paddock, but the rumours of a $10 million breach are yet to be confirmed.
Sources report that Red Bull has been able to explain away several of the FIA's qualms with the team's accounting, getting it under the 5 percent threshold for a minor violation.
Those same sources believe a $7.5 million fine for both Red Bull and Aston Martin is on the cards, as are wind tunnel usage restrictions.
Another source thinks a 50 constructors' point deduction is possible, but that would not affect the outcome of either the 2021 or 2022 title races.
"Christian Horner said that what Red Bull gave the FIA in March was all correct and within the cost cap," Williams boss Jost Capito told RTL.
"And I have no reason not to believe him."
Capito added that "rumours" of a major Red Bull breach are just that, because "there is still no real evidence".
Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto, however, insists that even if Red Bull's breach was only a 'minor' $4 million, that would still be a major problem.
"Four million? That's our entire development budget for one season," he said.
"It's 70 technicians and engineers that I can pay to find better solutions," Binotto added. "You can get half a second a lap out of that.
"This competitive advantage also has an effect in the following seasons. And it's an important issue because it's all about credibility."