After intense speculation since the Singapore Grand Prix that two squads had spent more than the cap of around $145 million in 2021, the motorsport governing body formally published its findings on Monday.
A statement said all teams have received their certificates of conformity, except Red Bull Racing, Aston Martin Racing and Williams.
The Williams infringement was a reference to the late filing of files last year, for which the team was fined.
Aston Martin was deemed to have broken the rules like Williams, while Red Bull was said to have both a procedural and “minor” spending overrun.
The FIA’s belief that Red Bull has exceeded the spending limit comes despite the team expressing confidence that the financial entry it made last March was well below the limit.
At the recent Singapore Grand Prix, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said he was confident his team had fully followed the rules.
“I have every confidence in our entry,” he said. “It went through a process. It went through March, in terms of… [being] fully signed off by our auditors, who are clearly one of the big three. And we believe we are well within the limit.
“So the FIA is following their process. Hopefully, and possibly this week, we expect to hear not just us, but all the teams, the outcome of that process.”
F1’s regulations contain a range of options as penalties for teams that have exceeded the cost cap.
For a minor violation, which exceeds less than 5%, sanctions may include a public reprimand, deduction of Constructors’ or Drivers’ Championship points, exclusion from events, restrictions on aero testing or a fine.
No details were released on how the FIA would deal with the rule violations by Aston Martin and Red Bull.
A statement said: “The FIA Cost Cap Administration is currently determining the appropriate course of action to be taken under the financial regulations relating to Aston Martin and Red Bull and further information will be communicated in accordance with the regulations. “
In the case of Aston Martin, it wasn’t overspending, as the review points out, and the team would like to emphasize that it didn’t gain competitive advantage and view recent reports that it has spent over the cap as harmful.
The procedural breach related to a number of administrative accounting protocols and resulted from variations in the complex interpretation of regulations.
Red Bull’s overspending will spark more scrutiny into how the FIA is handling the case, with several teams suggesting the case will be a test case for the success of the cost cap.
Should the FIA take a hard line against the Milton Keynes squad, it could be seen as unfair considering how new the cost cap rules are and how everyone is trying to understand them at this stage.
However, if the governing body is too lenient, that could open the door for rival teams to feel like they no longer have to stick to spending limits.
Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto said in Japan on Sunday it was better for the FIA to be too harsh than to try and sweep the matter under the rug.
“What’s important to us is that whatever the offense will be, the penalty has to be significant because believe me, our cars tried today in Japan to fight for the best position,” he said.
“These are cars that have been developed keeping the budget cap itself, and we know how much, even if it’s a minor violation, how much it would have implied in terms of performance.
“I said five million is about half a second, even one or two million is about one or two tenths, which is roughly equivalent to being second on the grid or on pole and maybe having the fastest car.
“Obviously it’s about 2021 and from 2021 it’s an advantage that you get over the next seasons. I think what we need and what I expect is full transparency and clarity about the discussions that may have taken place.”
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