Red Bull handed $7 million fine, 10% wind-tunnel reduction for budget-cap breach

Why Red Bull's cost cap punishment could prove to be very significant (2:21)

Nate Saunders speaks about the FIA's punishment for Red Bull and explains why reduced windtunnel testing is significant. (2:21)

Red Bull has been handed a $7 million fine and a 10% reduction in wind-tunnel testing time for next season as punishment for breaching last year's $145 million budget cap.

Red Bull took the accepted breach agreement (ABA) offered to it by the FIA, meaning the penalty cannot be appealed.

The FIA found Red Bull had been in breach of the cap by £432,652 ($0.5 million) once an unclaimed UK tax credit of £1.4 million ($1.6 million) was taken into account.

It means Red Bull's breach of the cap last year, minus the unclaimed tax credit, was by 0.37%.

In the FIA's verdict, it said: "There is no accusation or evidence that Red Bull Racing has sought at any time to act in bad faith, dishonestly or in a fraudulent manner, nor has it wilfully concealed any information from the Cost Cap Administration."

Although they were never seriously under threat, it means Max Verstappen's 2021 title and Red Bull's newly won 2022 constructors' championship remain intact.

The wind-tunnel penalty is significant. Red Bull is already due the least amount of wind-tunnel time out of F1's 10 teams next year after winning the constructors' championship.

F1's wind-tunnel testing rules operate on a sliding scale, with the first-placed team getting the least and the last-placed team getting the most time to test their car the following year.

It means Red Bull faces the prospect of having limited development of its race car next season.

Red Bull's rival teams wanted a penalty that would wipe out any advantage that the team might have gained from the overspend. One rival team boss told ESPN that stripping Red Bull of a championship would have benefited only Mercedes or Red Bull.

Limiting Red Bull's budget-cap amount for a future season was another suggested punishment, but this would have likely involved making wide-scale redundancies.

Red Bull has called a press conference for Friday morning where it is expected to fully address the budget-cap overspend.

Aston Martin was also fined $450,000 for a procedural breach of Formula One's financial regulations after failing to file accurate accounts under last year's budget cap.

The penalty is not as severe as Red Bull's because Aston Martin did not exceed the budget cap.