Red Bull’s penalty for exceeding the budget limit last year will be more severe than deducting points for the championship in 2021, believes Bernie Ecclestone. The FIA reported that according to the results of checking the finances of the teams for last year, the team from Milton Keynes have spent more than their allowance. The amount of the overspend was not announced. There are several possible punishments. Red Bull does not accept the conclusions of the federation and are in talks with the FIA.
Most predictions so far, if a violation is proven, are for a relatively light punishment – a fine or a penalty with reduced time for wind tunnel tests. However, according to the British billionaire, who will turn 92 at the end of this month, the sanction will be much stricter. His opinion was sought by Swiss newspaper Blick, whose Formula 1 correspondent Roger Benoit has been personal friends with the former sports chief for decades.
Asked if Red Bull would lose championship points in 2021, Ecclestone said: “It will be even worse.”
Such a prediction is especially curious due to the fact that Bernie maintains very warm relations with Christian Horner. Their families even vacation together sometimes. According to the Blik publication, this time the FIA does not have the opportunity to conclude a secret agreement like this with Ferrari at the beginning of 2020.
Ecclestone himself will be tried next year for fraud in the amount of $454 million. The charge is that he presented “false or misleading” data to the British tax authorities in the period July 2013 – October 2016. A London court examined him and ruled that there will be a trial due to begin on 9 October 2023. Ecclestone himself was granted bail.
This is not the first case against Bernie. In 2014, he was tried for bribery
The British billionaire has been accused of paying more than $30 million to a German banker to push through the bid of his preferred buyer of Formula 1’s commercial rights. In the end, a settlement was reached, according to which Ecclestone paid $100 million to the German state and the charges were dropped. Local legislation allows for such a settlement of the situation. Bernie paid, although he denied any wrongdoing until the end. If convicted, the sentence could have been up to 10 years in prison. The banker in question – Gerhard Gribkovski – was sentenced to 8 and a half years.
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) October 16, 2022