Christian Horner says that there could be at least six teams that are in breach of Formula 1’s budget cap in 2022.
It was recently confirmed by the FIA that Red Bull had exceeded the 2021 cost cap set at $145 million, falling into the category of a “minor” overspend.
It went over the cap by $1.4m, which would have been reduced further had a tax credit been properly applied.
Red Bull was issued a fine of $7m and will have reduced aerodynamic testing in 2023 as its penalty for breaching the cap.
Aston Martin and Williams were both found guilty of “procedural” breaches, but didn’t go over the spending quota.
However, Horner believes that next year, more teams will be found guilty of the sport’s financial regulations.
“The danger for 2022 is that there could be six teams in breach of the cap,” said Horner. “Energy prices have been increasing exponentially, but thankfully we’ve been protected from that.
“There is that chance that several teams, many of which have stated it during F1 Commission meetings, will break the cap this year. We do not believe that we will break the cap in 2022.
“But these penalties set a precedent for the future. So if you get 10 per cent [less aero testing time] for a 0.37 per cent breach, what is a 5 per cent breach going to look like?”
F1’s sporting cap is a new measure that was implemented last year for the first time, to limit the spending differentials between teams.
With Red Bull the first to be punished under the system, Horner has called on the FIA to stick to its precedent if another team exceeds the cap in the future.
“The FIA has set a precedent with us to what amounts to a 0.37 per cent overspend,” commented Horner.
“So the FIA has taken a firm and aggressive stance on that to demonstrate they will take any breach severely.”