Red Bull could have broken the budget cap allowance through four off-track reasons, according to Ted Kravitz. The Sky Sports host revealed a series of possible explanations for the team’s overspend, from tax payouts to gardening leave payments.
Red Bull were found guilty of breaching the cap after the Japanese Grand Prix. The team were over by less than five per cent meaning the FIA considers it only a minor transgression.
Kravitz said: “The cost cap areas of discussion, before we get some sort of settlement on an Accepted Breach Agreement with the FIA. You would have heard the catering rumour, that apparently is true, they did apparently overspend on catering.
“But when you spend more money on catering you don’t have to spend it elsewhere I guess other teams could say. There seems to be a debate over whether there was an HMRC corporation tax or some sort of tax repayment that they didn’t include, they couldn’t include it because they didn’t know how much it was going to be.
READ MORE: Red Bull and FIA ‘agree on penalty’ over cost cap breach
“But when you do include it, it goes over the cost cap allocation. There’s a debate over spare inventory where the FIA actually changed their rules halfway through last year’s process, or this year’s accounting process, that’s another question mark over it.
“And there’s one about gardening leave and specifically Dan Fallows, their ex-technical director, who has gone to Aston Martin. That’s the four areas where Red Bull say they can prove it had no impact on the performance of the car and explains why they are over the cost cap.
“We will see what kind of penalty they get for it. Surely there will be a penalty. We’re just going to wait and see in the next few days what that is, probably have that tied up before Mexico.”
Rival teams have called for Red Bull to face severe sanctions and are arguing any overspend leads to an “unfair advantage”.
Christian Horner makes ‘abuse’ claim against Red Bull rivals [INSIGHT]
Toto Wolff snaps back at Christian Horner with sarcastic response [ANALYSIS]
Christian Horner gets irate with Zak Brown’s leaked FIA letter [COMMENT]
McLaren boss Zak Brown has been one of the most critical, calling for any team who had broken the cap to face a reduction in wind tunnel allowance time next season. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has also warned any extra spending would have a “big impact” on the outcome of the championship.
But, Christian Horner has since protested the team’s innocence and made it clear the extra spend did not have any effect on pace. He explained: “We had zero benefit from a development perspective or an operational perspective either for 2021 or for 2022 from the way that we operated it within the cap.
“Our submission was significantly below the cap. We expected certain things to be challenged or clarified in the process in a brand new set of regulations. We absolutely and categorically do not feel we have had any advantage either in 2021 or 2022 or 23 or 24.”