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Formula 1 Title Favorite Accused of Exceeding $145M Cost Cap

  • Reports have surfaced that Red Bull exceeded Formula 1's 2021 spending cap.
  • The team has firmly denied the reports.
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
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The favorite to take home Formula 1’s Constructors Cup could face an unexpected speed bump.

On Wednesday, the FIA will release its report detailing whether any teams exceeded the $145 million cost cap in 2021. Reports have surfaced that Red Bull is one of two teams to have done so, which the team firmly denied.

  • Reports claim that both Red Bull and Aston Martin, owned by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, both exceeded the cap last year, perhaps by as much as $10 million.
  • Surpassing the limit by under 5% — $7.25 million in 2021 — is considered a “minor violation,” and breaches above that line are deemed a “material violation.”
  • Penalties could include the loss of points for a driver or constructor for that season, or even suspensions from upcoming races. 

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen narrowly edged out Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton for first place among drivers last year.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has alluded to a potential breach by Red Bull, spurring a sharp rebuke from his Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner, who has threatened legal action.

Spend Limit

The cost cap was instituted last year, dropped to $140 million this year, and will be $135 million from 2023-2025, reining in a sport where the top competitors regularly spent over $200 million.

The cap is meant to create parity among teams and bring profitability to a sport where many teams view spending as a marketing and research expense for their associated consumer car brands.

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