Max Verstappen to keep Formula One world title with Red Bull set to be cleared over alleged budget cap breach

Max Verstappen to keep Formula One world title with Red Bull set to be cleared over alleged budget cap breach

Red Bull look set to be cleared of any major cost cap breach when the FIA relays its official findings.

Formula 1’s governing body was meant to make public tomorrow whether any teams had exceeded the £114million budget limit set for last season.

Rumours had circulated over the course of the Singapore Grand Prix weekend that champions Red Bull had exceeded it by as much as £10m. And there were suggestions that Max Verstappen’s drivers’ championship was under threat.

But there are now indicators that Red Bull may have only been guilty of a minor breach of the limit, which would likely incur a fine, or else not breached it at all.

Because of the storm in Singapore around the cost cap, the FIA may yet delay its official ruling until later in the week.

There had been suggestions that Max Verstappen’s 2021 world title could be under threat (Getty Images)
There had been suggestions that Max Verstappen’s 2021 world title could be under threat (Getty Images)

Throughout the process, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has remained defiant that the team had done nothing wrong, while Verstappen had warned his rivals to “keep their mouths shut” on the subject following a troubled weekend for the Dutchman in Singapore.

Following the race, which was won by Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez, Horner said: “I’m absolutely confident in our submission. It’s been through a process. It went in in March, in terms of being signed off fully by our auditors who are obviously one of the big three. And we believe that we are comfortably within the cap.

“So, the FIA are following their process. We expect hopefully and potentially this week to hear not just us but all of the teams the outcome of that process.”

There is bemusement within the F1 paddock, which relocates to Suzuka this weekend for the Japanese Grand Prix, that the story escalated to this extent and the numbers being bandied around.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and his Ferrari counterpart Mattia Binotto had called for the strictest possible actions if Red Bull were found guilty of the breach. But Horner reacted angrily on the eve of the Singapore race threatening legal action for potential defamation, a line he repeated in the aftermath of the race.

The situation has only worsened already frayed relations between Wolff and Horner, who clashed throughout a volatile season in 2021 which went down to the wire with Verstappen beating Lewis Hamilton at the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

This season has been far more one-sided with Verstappen assured of the title this weekend should he win the race and set the fastest lap.