FIA respond to allegations of further Formula 1 cost cap breaches – report

Jamie Woodhouse
Cars line up on F1 starting grid for practice starts

Cars line up on F1 starting grid for practice starts.

According to Sky F1 reporter Craig Slater, Formula 1 governing body the FIA has branded claims that up to three teams are in breach of the 2022 cost cap as inaccurate.

In recent days reports have emerged relating to the impending certificates of compliance with the 2022 cost cap, suggesting that up to three teams will not receive the green light.

Simultaneously, Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has been calling for any future cost cap offenders to be issued with sporting penalties, an example from last year’s auditing process being the 10 per cent reduction in wind tunnel time that was handed out to Red Bull for their minor overspend.

FIA brand cost cap reports “factually wrong”

Domenicali has also on multiple occasions spoken of a desire for the FIA to conclude the cost cap auditing process more swiftly going forward, with the matter last year having rumbled on into October, the first season where the process officially took place.

And Slater said the FIA has informed him that the process remains ongoing, with talk of breaches very much wide of the mark.

“This has blown up in the last few days,” said Slater.

“Motorsport Italy and also Auto Motor und Sport in Germany, slightly different reports in both case, the Italian publication saying that three teams are in breach of the cost cap, Auto Motor und Sport in Germany talking about two teams being in breach.

“Now, I’ve contacted the FIA about this. They are quite adamant in their response to me, and I only referenced initially the Italian reports because the German report came out a little bit later, they’ve said the reports are factually wrong.

“They say that the auditing process is still ongoing with regard to the cost cap and it is only scheduled to conclude in the coming weeks, after which there’ll be a period required for assessment and finalisation of review and they’re saying there is no deadline submitted to the teams for them to gain certification for the cost cap.

“The FIA are telling me that any suggestion of delay to the process because of more in-depth investigations this year, these reports carry stories of the FIA going in and investigating whether some of the teams are using other projects to mask development on an F1 car as well, the FIA are telling me there’s no delay because of that.

“And also saying that talk of potential breaches at this stage are unfounded. So that’s the position of the governing body.”

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“Most leading teams” confident of cost cap compliance

Slater claimed to have reached out directly to teams to find out whether they believe they will comply with the 2022 cost cap, and out of those that responded, which he said included most of the front-runners, he says all were confident that no breach will be found.

“I’ve tried to go around all of the teams and ask them, ‘Are you confident that you are compliant for the cost cap for 2022?'” Slater continued.

“All of the teams who have responded to me, and that includes most of the leading teams I have to say, have all said to me, ‘Yes, we believe we are inside it’.

“So we’ll have to watch this space to see if what happens over the next weeks does throw up a team or two who have breached the cost cap, and one or two of them are explaining to me that the inflationary aspect to economics of the past year or so is making it more difficult, but they are all reflecting that it is the same for everyone.

“But the FIA are telling me no-one in breach at the moment and it’s quite unfounded to suggest as much.”

Red Bull are currently mastering the mask of battling through their cost cap penalty, the team undefeated in F1 2023 having won all 10 grands prix so far.

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