- Formula 1 introduced team budget caps beginning with the 2021 season in a bid to curb the spending of the leading teams,
- That limit was placed at an initial $145 million, albeit with several exemptions that include driver salaries.
- The penalties for any breaches were deliberately kept vague when first published in order for teams to not see a certain sanction as the “cost” of exceeding the cap.
The FIA is in the process of finalizing the assessment of Formula 1 teams’ financial data from the 2021 season amid speculation that two teams have breached the limit.
Formula 1 introduced financial regulations for the 2021 season in a bid to curb the spending of the leading teams, placing a greater emphasis on efficiency and financial management.
That limit was placed at an initial $145 millon, albeit with several exemptions and exclusions, along with allocations of extra allowable budget for Sprint qualifying races and if the season exceeded 21 Grands Prix.
Spending through 2021 was crucial as teams had to split resources between that season’s cars and the effort required to construct new machines under revised 2022 technical regulations.
Reports surfaced in German publication Auto Motor Und Sport and Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday alleging that the two teams have breached the regulations, naming Red Bull Racing and Aston Martin.
Red Bull Racing won the 2021 Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship with Max Verstappen and currently leads both championships by a healthy margin. Aston Martin is ninth in this year’s standings.
It is understood that the respective breaches are under five per cent of the cap, which is viewed as a minor breach per the regulations, and would equate to a maximum of $7.5m overspend.
Formula 1’s financial regulations outline a range of penalties for cost cap offenses. They range from reprimands to fines, a loss of wind tunnel time, or a future reduction of the team’s cost cap.
There are also clauses within the financial regulations that allow for race suspensions or points deductions from the championship in which the offence took place, or from future seasons.
In a statement the FIA said:
“The FIA is currently finalixing the assessment of the 2021 financial data submitted by all Formula 1 teams. Alleged breaches of the Financial Regulations, if any, will be dealt with according to the formal process set out in the regulations.”
Red Bull Racing described the reports as “speculation,” while Aston Martin said it “has submitted our 2021 reporting, we are in discussion with the FIA, and we are awaiting certification.”
Speaking to Sky Sports F1 in Singapore, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said he is “certainly not aware” of any breach.
“The accounts were all submitted way back in March, it has been a long process with the FIA, we’re in the process, I think mid next week is when they declare their certificates. I think that our submission was below the cap.”
Those compliance sheets are set to be distributed by the FIA next week once the assessment is finalized—and any team that does not receive one will be subject to further scrutiny.
If breaches are proven when the FIA analyses all the data submitted by teams then it is the first true test of the financial regulations and their effectiveness. The penalties for any breaches were deliberately kept vague when first published in order for teams to not see a certain sanction as the “cost” of exceeding the cap.
The exchange rate is outlined in the regulations at $1.269 per £1.00 meaning the cost cap has not been directly influenced by the recent collapse of sterling.
— to www.autoweek.com