Ferrari believe delay in cost cap report ‘gives truth’ to breach rumours

Thomas Maher
Ferrari's Mattia Binotto at the Singapore Grand Prix. Marina Bay, October 2022.

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto reckons the delays in the FIA issuing budget cap updates suggests rumours of breaches could be accurate.

Last week’s further delay in issuing compliance certificates for the 2021 season suggest there may be some truth to the rumours of a financial breach, according to Binotto.

The FIA were due to sign off on the 2021 compliance certificates, which signify each team conformed with the F1 budget cap of $145 million last year, but pushed out the date from October 5th to the 10th (Monday).

The latest delay to the issuing of the certificates came days after rumours emerged that two teams have breached the financial regulations – the two teams named in reports in Italian and German media as Red Bull and Aston Martin.

Both Red Bull and Aston Martin deny the allegations

Red Bull’s Christian Horner was quick to rebuff the suggestion that Red Bull may have breached the regulations, with the rumours suggesting the Drvers’ Champion team may have committed a material breach, ie. more than 5% over the spending limit.

Horner continues to maintain Red Bull’s financial returns will pass muster with the FIA, but has admitted that there may have been a difference in opinion with the governing body over the interpretation of some areas of their budgeting – Horner expressing that clarifications have been issued by the FIA even since the team’s returns were submitted back in March.

Red Bull and Ferrari at Suzuka

Aston Martin’s Mike Krack has also expressed his belief that his team are in conformity with the regulations, but made a similar point to Horner regarding clarifications in the aftermath of their submission.

Uncovered breaches result in a variety of punishments, ranging from reprimands to outright championship exclusions.

Mattia Binotto: Interesting to see another delay

The Ferrari team boss has said the delay in issuing the certificates, which was announced by the FIA close to the conclusion of usual European working hours on the planned date, is particularly interesting in light of the rumours.

“Why we are simply waiting so long is certainly because there are discussions behind [it],” said Binotto, as quoted by GPFans.

“Which are giving truth to the fact that there are rumours and speculation about maybe teams having been in breach.

“I think it is simply confirming there are discussions because there is something not clear in there.”

The leader of the Scuderia, who has expressed no potential concerns about Ferrari being found to have overspent, has insisted that any breaches, if any are uncovered, must be dealt with in a severe fashion.

Ferrari Sporting Director Laurent Mekies recently said that an uncovered breach would be a true test of the success of the budget cap rules, and Binotto pointed out that any overspend translates to speed on track.

“What is important for us is whatever the breach will be, if any breach, the penalty has to be significant because – believe me – our car today, in Japan that tried to fight for the best position, is a car that has been developed maintaining and respecting what has been the budget cap itself.

“We know how much, even if it’s a minor breach, would have been implied in terms of performance.

“$5 million is just about half a second, even $1-2million is one or two tenths, which is from being second on the grid or being on pole and having the fastest car.

“It is about 2021, 2021 is an advantage you gain over the following seasons.

“What I am expecting is full transparency and clarity on the discussions that we have had.”

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