This morning, the FIA finally announced penalties for Red Bull Racing after the team overspent Formula 1's cost cap in 2021. It’ll have its wind tunnel and CFD hours reduced, but at the end of the day — but lost in the online discourse is the fact that Aston Martin also had cost cap filing errors, and possibly for the most hilarious reason in the world. It messed up filing expenditures for office furniture.
This fun fact was brought to my attention by Jalopnik’s own Ryan King, who pointed out the concern via Twitter:
Whereas Red Bull was fined for a “minor overspend breach,” Aston Martin has sustained a $450,000 fine for a “procedural” breach. The FIA noted that Aston’s issues regarded the fact that the team “inaccurately excluded and/or adjusted costs in the calculation of its relevant costs.” As pointed out by the FIA, that included the “cost of desks and chairs,” along with catering services, unrecorded costs and losses regarding sponsor services, signing bonuses, and simulator fees.
In essence, the FIA decided that the team just fumbled paperwork and didn’t intend to breach the cost cap in order to gain an advantage. The team did, after all, finish a meager seventh in the constructors’ standings and has only faced more difficulties this year. Inaccurately recording office furniture expenses probably didn’t make the team better or worse than the competition.
Further, the FIA lauded Aston Martin’s acceptance of the fact that it did breach the cost cap — a significant departure from Red Bull Racing’s adamant denial that it could possibly have overspent.
The team has 30 days to pay back its $450,000 fine, after which point the overspend will be swept under the rug. Presumably the team will be a little more keen on accurately filing office furniture costs in the near future.