Dietrich Mateschitz passed away this Saturday, October 22, 2022 at the age of 78 after a long battle against illness, causing many tributes in the Formula 1 paddock and also in other venues such as Sepang, where MotoGP raced.
As the United States Grand Prix weekend kicked off, much of Red Bull’s attention was focused on negotiating and speaking with the FIA over its alleged breach of F1’s spending limit in 2021.
The FIA considered after a long investigation that Red Bull had exceeded the limit established for the 2021 season, something that the team flatly denied, but if so, it would lead to an inevitable sanction for the Austrians.
The director of Red Bull in F1, Christian Horner, and the president of the FIA, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, were speaking at the Circuit of the Americas about it, and the energy drinks team expressed his interest in reaching an agreement as fast as possible.
But following the news of Mateschitz’s death, talks on any accepted default settlement have been put on hold, so the originally stipulated deadline has also been shifted as a result of that delay.
“Following the passing of Mr Mateschitz, all discussions with the FIA regarding the spending cap and next steps are on hold until further notice,” Red Bull said in a statement.
“The deadline to reach an agreement has also been extended and we expect talks to resume in the middle of this week,” it read.
It seems inevitable that Red Bull will face a sanction from the FIA, but Horner said the submission of the team’s budget cap papers was “far short” of schedule and the breach the FIA says would have had “zero benefit” in car performance and track results.
Talks currently revolve around an ‘Accepted Infringement Settlement’, in which Red Bull would admit that it has exceeded the budget ceiling and reach an agreement with the FIA.
Horner said on Saturday, before receiving news of Mateschitz’s death, that he was “hopeful it can be resolved over the weekend,” warning that the case could drag on for a few months if a quick settlement is not reached. .
“The next process would be to go to the spending cap management panel, and then there’s the International Court of Appeal,” Horner said.
“So it could go on for another six or nine months, which is not our intention. We want 2021 to be closed now. And I think we’ve had some productive discussions with the FIA.”
“I am hopeful that we can reach an agreement in the near future,” he concluded.