Red Bull and FIA ‘agree on penalty’ over cost cap breach

F1 preview: A lap at the United States Grand Prix

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Red Bull and the FIA have apparently reached an agreement over the team’s penalty for breaching cost cap rules but an official announcement will be delayed until after the United States Grand Prix. Auto Motor und Sport have reported that the cost cap administrators have “agreed on a penalty” after talks between Christian Horner and FIA President Mohammed ben Sulayem.

They claim the decision was supposed to be revealed over the weekend but has been delayed after Red Bull chief Dietrich Mateschitz’s death was announced last night. It is believed that a formal decision will have to wait until the coming days as a mark of respect for Mateschitz.

Red Bull entered into an ‘Accepted Breach Agreement’ ahead of the weekend after they were found guilty of breaking the cost cap. There was speculation that the FIA were set to issue a 20 per cent reduction in wind tunnel time as part of the team’s punishment.

But, this would have a major impact on Red Bull’s car development next season and for its 2024 package. Horner sat down for talks with F1 boss Stefano Domenicali on Thursday and was desperate to speak to Ben Sulayem in Austin.

Red Bull had a press conference booked for Friday morning which was later cancelled after Horner had not spoken to the FIA president. The pair were seen in a discussion on Friday ahead of FP2 where Horner may have been told what penalty to expect.

It was originally believed the penalty would be financial as they breached the allowance by less than five per cent. This means they have only broken a minor transgression which would not warrant a sporting penalty.

However, other constructors are pushing for Red Bull to face severe sanctions to maintain the credibility of the budget cap rules.

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McLaren boss Zak Brown and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff have been among the most vocal critics. But, Horner hit back at his rivals ahead of qualifying yesterday afternoon, claiming the comments had done “damage” to the team.

He explained: “We’ve been on trial because of public accusations since Singapore.

“The rhetoric of cheats, the rhetoric that we have had this enormous benefit. The numbers that have been put in the media are miles out of reality. The damage that does to the brand, to our partners, to our drivers, to our workforce in an age where mental health is prevalent.”

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