Red Bull punishment talks delayed after death of Dietrich Mateschitz
Red Bull’s punishment for breaking Formula One’s financial rules has been delayed following the death of the team’s co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz.
Mateschitz, the Austrian billionaire who founded the fizzy drinks company and played an integral role in Red Bull’s F1 journey, died aged 78 following a long-term illness.
His death was announced before qualifying at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin on Saturday. The grid will pay tribute to Mateschitz in the minutes before the United States Grand Prix – a race which could see Red Bull claim their first constructors’ title since 2013.
A statement from Red Bull ahead of Sunday’s race read: “Following the passing of Mr Mateschitz, all conversations with the FIA around Cost Cap and next steps are on hold until further notice.
“The deadline for agreement has been extended and we expect talks to pick back up middle of the week.”
Red Bull exceeded last year’s £114million budget cap when they carried Max Verstappen to his contentious title win over Lewis Hamilton.
Although F1’s governing body the FIA is yet to confirm by how much Red Bull overspent, the PA news agency understands the figure is £1.8m.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has held discussions with FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem in Austin in the hope of reaching an Accepted Breach Agreement.
It is understood the FIA has tabled a significant financial penalty and sporting sanctions, including the reduction of wind tunnel time.
But it is also believed that such a deal – which would see Red Bull lose any right to appeal – has not been struck.
Red Bull are now weighing up whether to challenge the FIA’s original decision. Their case would then be heard by a panel of independent judges, while a final option would be the FIA’s International Court of Appeal.
However, both steps would see the team risk a harsher punishment – with the deduction of last season’s constructors’ points possible – and ensure the row plays out for several months.
Red Bull are keen to avoid such a scenario and remain hopeful the saga will be resolved before next weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.