Helmut Marko weighs in on rumours three teams ‘are possibly over’ the cap

Michelle Foster
Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko speaking with Christian Horner in the garage.

Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko speaking with Christian Horner.

Helmut Marko has confirmed it is “three” teams who are rumoured to be “possibly over” with their spending during 2022’s cost cap period.

Formula 1 introduced a budget cap in 2021 with Red Bull found guilty of overspending by $2.2 million that season on their way to the Drivers’ Championship title. The team was hit with a $7m fine and docked 10% of their ATR time.

But as a cost of living crisis hit the world, last year there were already warnings that some teams were going to breach the ceiling with Red Bull saying it could be as many as seven.

Helmut Marko: There could be three teams that are possibly over it

The teams handed in their 2022 books at the end of March this year with the FIA having spent the past few months going through that with a fine-tooth comb.

Earlier this month whispers began doing the rounds that two, potentially three, teams had breached the 2022 budget cap regulations. Marko says the rumours could be true.

“There could be three teams that are possibly over it,” the Red Bull motorsport advisor told Motorsport-Total.com.

One of those three teams, it is being reported, could be Red Bull.

According to whispers in the paddock the team is one of those being questioned by the FIA in their case with regards to the supercar designed by Adrian Newey and the sharing of resources and knowledge not billed to Red Bull’s books.

Motorsport-total.com reports that ‘engineers who were temporarily withdrawn from the Formula 1 team and went on to develop components such as the underbody for the RB17 could theoretically have acquired knowledge in the course of this process that is also relevant for the Formula 1 team.’

Marko admitted it was “specifically about the RB17”, and added: “There were people who worked partly here, partly there. How do you separate that? That’s also a procedure.

“The whole cost cap is still too much interpretation and not enough facts. That’s why there are discussions and that needs to be sharpened.”

The whole debate of shared resources and special projects led to the FIA introducing TD45 earlier this season whereby IP cannot be used in Formula 1 if it was created outside the team.

Marko believes Red Bull won’t fall foul of this, “we have planned enough reserves, we think that’s enough” but admits he isn’t a fan of the regulation.

“There are people with us who no longer want to travel, no longer want the pressure of Formula 1. You can place them in such projects. And if he does spend a few hours in Formula 1 works, you calculate them over there,” he said.

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As the rumours of teams breaching the cap in 2022 continue, two or three it is being said, the FIA released a statement last week in an attempt to quash the speculation.

“In light of recent reporting, we’d like to reiterate the ongoing process preceding financial regulation certification for the teams – none of which have been informed of their certification status,” said an FIA spokesperson.

“The auditing fieldwork is still ongoing and is scheduled to conclude in the upcoming weeks, after which there will be a period required for the finalisation of the review.

“There is not, and has never been, a specific deadline for certification, and any suggestions of delays to this process or potential breaches are completely unfounded – the Cost Cap Administration will formally communicate its findings according to the procedure set out in the Financial Regulations.

“The timeframe is intentionally not fixed in order not to prejudice the robustness and the effectiveness of the review.”

Read Next: Explained: How the budget cap rules are enforced by the FIA