What happens now with F1’s cost cap rule breakers?

But rather than being the end of a process that has already been in the spotlight for some time, what happens next is potentially more intriguing as the governing body heads towards potential sanctions.

The matter seems almost certain to be a lengthy one, however, with F1’s financial regulations spelled out in the formal process that must be followed.

Additionally, the procedural breaches committed by Aston Martin and Red Bull will carry a different range of penalties than the minor overspending breach the Milton Keynes-based team also committed.

Breach agreement accepted

The first avenue that will be open to Aston Martin and Red Bull is what is known as an Agreed Breach Agreement (ABA).

This is where the teams accept that they have done wrong and agree to abide by certain measures that will be taken by the FIA ​​cost cap administration.

To go through an ABA, teams must acknowledge that they have violated the rules, agree to and abide by any penalties issued, agree to bear the costs, and waive any right they have to challenge the ABA.

The ABA can then impose obligations to be fulfilled by the team, provide for increased control, impose financial penalties and certain minor sporting sanctions, and set the costs that the teams must meet.

To incentivize going the ABA route, teams deemed deserving of a minor sporting penalty cannot forfeit constructors’ championship points, drivers’ championship points or cost cap reduction, which are options if they attempt to challenge the decision. cost cap.

This leaves them only the possibility of a public reprimand, suspension from one or more stages of a competition (non-racing) or aerodynamic or other testing limitations.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Cost Cap Arbitration Committee

If Aston Martin and Red Bull do not agree to the ABA, or if the FIA ​​deems it not appropriate to go that route, then a Cost Cap Adjudication Panel hearing will be set up.

This panel is made up of six to 12 judges elected by the FIA ​​General Assembly who will then hear the details of the cases, including team representation and any relevant witnesses in the matter.

After the hearing, a verdict must be rendered by a majority of the judges on whether the party is guilty or not. In the event of a stalemate, the designated presiding officer will have a new casting vote.

The panel will then hand out one of the penalties detailed in the rules.

If a guilty team were not satisfied with the result, a further appeal could be made to the FIA ​​International Court of Appeal.

Punishments

The financial rules are clear in terms of potential penalties that can be imposed on teams that break the rules.

For breaches of procedural rules — which may include late submissions, failure to cooperate with the cost cap administration, or providing inaccurate information — the rules state that a financial penalty will be imposed.

The only exception to this rule is if there are sufficient mitigating circumstances for there to be no further action, or if there is a sufficient aggravating circumstance, in which case a minor sporting sanction in addition to or at the instead of the pecuniary penalty can be given.

For minor overruns, which are categorized as being less than 5% of the limit that Red Bull has been found to have made, the cost cap panel may impose a financial sanction and/or a minor sporting sanction.

The regulations provide for six options which they describe as minor sporting sanctions.

This is a public reprimand, deduction of constructors’ championship points, deduction of drivers’ championship points, suspension from one or more stages of a competition (non-racing) , aerodynamic or other test limitations, or a reduction in the cost cap.

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