Jost Capito Clarifies Which Team Meals Are Included Or Excluded From The Budget.

Catering expenses were one of the problems raised by Red Bull’s cost-cap violation, and Jost Capito has clarified what may and may not be included.

Red Bull surpassed the cost cap by $2.2 million, which was later lowered to $432,000 by an unclaimed UK tax credit, and negotiated an Accepted Breach Agreement with the FIA, which resulted in a $7 million fine and a 10% decrease in their wind tunnel and CFD development quotas.

The first item on the FIA’s 13-point list of budget cap violations was “overstated excluded costs pursuant to Article 3.1(a) of the Financial Regulations (concerning catering services).”

So, what went wrong with Red Bull? Did they over-serve thirsty paddock visitors with many cans of their product, or did they over-consume champagne and caviar at Max Verstappen’s 2021 Drivers’ title party?

The facts haven’t been made public, but Aston Martin, who received a $450,000 fine for breaching an administrative rule, also broke the catering rules. Team principal Mike Krack said that he had studied the rules but “I didn’t understand everything, to be honest.”

Jost Capito, the team principal and CEO of Williams, however, seems to have a handle on the catering costs side—which is fortunate given that his team was penalised just $25,000 for presenting its financial paperwork after the deadline of March 31, 2022.

Jost Capito said: “It’s tricky, for example, if the team eat in the [paddock] hospitality for the evening, it falls under the cost cap. If they eat outside in a restaurant, it does not fall under the cost cap. These are still things that have to be clarified in the regulations.”

“For the team, it is much cheaper, simpler and less complicated if they eat in the hospitality and there is less risk. And yet you can’t do that because then it falls under the cost cap and if you eat outside, it doesn’t.

“And that is known, and the issues are also worked through and for next year it is a different situation.

“There are modifications where the teams agree and work together on it. And that is certainly necessary. The cost-cap regulations are so complicated you can’t get them 100% right straight away and I’m sure they will get much better over the years.”

The 64-year-old German concurred with Otmar Szafnauer, the principal of the Alpine team, that Red Bull had received appropriate punishment.

He added: “Yes, I think it’s okay, you have to say it was the first time, the first year of a cost cap. And to argue now whether it should have been a little bit more, a little bit less in the penalty, I don’t think that makes any sense at all. It is what it is now and so there is a precedent and I think that’s absolutely fine.”