Breaking News – Max Verstappen rocked as Red Bull star could face ‘record-high F1 bill’ worth close to £1m
Max Verstappen will be forced to pay a mega-money bill to the FIA in line with the super licence tax imposed on all drivers at the end of the season, according to reports. The Dutchman has dominated the on-track proceedings for the vast majority of the campaign and wrapped up his second Drivers’ Championship title in as many years at the Japanese Grand Prix last month.
Toto Wolff weighs in on Christian Horner’s budget cap prediction
His latest victory at the Mexican Grand Prix ensured that he will finish the year with a record points total after surpassing the previous milestone of 413 points, which was set by Lewis Hamilton back in 2019. However, the success enjoyed by Verstappen over the last few months could be set to hurt his pocket as a result of the super licence tax, which is calculated for each driver based on the number of points they have accumulated over the course of the year.
It means that Verstappen will need to shell out around £769,777 in the single biggest super licence tax payment in the sport’s history, according to GP Blog. It is claimed that a base payment of £9,056 is required from all drivers in the form of a renewal fee, while they are also forced to pay £1,828 for each point gained in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
Verstappen’s total payment could still rise by another £95,056 if he manages to win the remaining two races while taking the fastest laps, which would bring the figure up to an eye-watering £864,833. However, it is said that his contract with Red Bull is likely to include bonuses per point, which would see his end-of-season tax indirectly paid by the team.
Ex-Formula 1 star Hans-Joachim Stuck suspects Red Bull will not feel the effects of their penalties for exceeding the 2021 budget cap next year because they’re already ‘so far ahead’ in planning for the 2023 season. The penalties were handed out by the FIA last week, with Christian Horner’s team fined £6.2 million, and deducted 10 per cent of their wind tunnel time.
The super licence tax has been in place for a long while but was ramped up in 2008 by former FIA president Max Mosley, who opted to increase the fees paid by drivers in order to provide the governing body with more money to spend on safety improvements. The move was a controversial one at the time, with Fernando Alonso among those on the grid to express their opposition to the measures by threatening to strike.
“We should pay a reasonable price, it cannot change 1,000 per cent in a year,” said the Spaniard. “We don’t have many possibilities, for sure [striking] is one of the options we are talking about. We need to do something together because as a group we have more effect than as a single person.”
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether Verstappen will be able to round off the 2022 campaign with two wins in Brazil and Abu Dhabi as he looks to extend his record points total over the coming weeks. He has managed to claim victory at 14 races so far this season but has been pushed hard by the likes of Mercedes in recent outings and will be desperate to keep them at arm’s length until the action draws to a close.
Red Bull have been head and shoulders above the rest of the field over the last few months, although they were given an early scare by Ferrari after the Italian outfit won two of the first three races in Bahrain and Australia. They were able to wrap up their first Constructors’ Championship title since 2013 at last month’s United States Grand Prix and will be looking to finish on a high rather than easing off the gas before the chequered flag drops for the final time in Abu Dhabi.