Rumours circulating in the Formula One paddock suggest that Alpine and Aston Martin may have exceeded the budget cap for the 2022 season.
According to reports, a third team, Mercedes, is also in the crosshairs of the FIA, while there are indications that an investigation may be launched against Red Bull. The budget cap has been a contentious issue in recent years, with Red Bull previously found guilty of overspending and receiving a $7 million fine. F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali believes that sporting rather than financial punishments should be imposed for breaches of the budget cap.
The 2022 budget cap, which was set at $145.5 million after several increases, has been a topic of debate among team principals. Christian Horner, in particular, expressed dissatisfaction with the cap, stating that it was insufficient. The FIA is expected to release a report on each team’s compliance with the budget cap by the end of the month. This year, the FIA has conducted more thorough investigations into teams’ non-Formula One activities to prevent any potential circumvention of the regulations.
Last year, Red Bull was found to have exceeded the budget cap and was penalized with a $7 million fine and a ten percent reduction in aerodynamic testing. However, this punishment was widely criticized for being too lenient. Domenicali now believes that future penalties should be more severe. He stated that he wants the penalty for infringements to be sporting in nature and that any violations of the sporting, technical, or financial regulations should be met with appropriate sporting measures. The final decision on punishments lies with the FIA, and Domenicali has urged for the prompt publication of the investigation results to avoid speculation and negative comments.
The failure to adequately punish Red Bull last year has raised concerns about the effectiveness of the budget cap in maintaining a level playing field. If more teams are found to have breached the cap, it is crucial that the punishments serve as a deterrent to future violations. Otherwise, the budget cap may lose its significance as a regulation and become merely a guideline. The FIA’s handling of the Red Bull case may have also influenced other teams to test the boundaries of the regulations. Formula One has always been a sport that pushes the limits of legality, and the responsibility for any breaches ultimately falls on the governing body.
🔴 Selon le @CorSport, des rumeurs dans le paddock indiquent qu'Alpine et Aston Martin seraient les 2 équipes ayant dépassé le Budget Cap en 2022 ! 💰— Off Track (@OffTrack_FR) July 22, 2023
Une 3e équipe serait dans le viseur de la FIA. Selon la presse anglosaxonne, Mercedes serait en danger tandis que la presse… pic.twitter.com/J14jt8Lk95
Crucial Moment for Formula One’s Budget Cap
The ongoing issue of teams breaching the budget cap has once again brought Formula One to a critical juncture. While the cap was intended to level the playing field, the lenient punishment given to Red Bull last year has raised doubts about the competitiveness of the series. If additional teams are found guilty of exceeding the cap, the penalties must be severe enough to discourage future violations. Without strong enforcement, the budget cap risks becoming a mere guideline rather than a true regulation.
The failure to properly penalize Red Bull has likely emboldened other teams to see what they can get away with. Formula One has always been a sport that pushes the boundaries of legality, and the FIA’s handling of the situation may have inadvertently encouraged further transgressions. To prevent a repeat of last year’s lengthy process, it is important for the FIA to publish the results of their investigations as soon as possible. This will help avoid speculation and ensure transparency in the enforcement of the budget cap.
The responsibility for maintaining the integrity of the budget cap lies with the FIA, as they have the authority to impose penalties. It is crucial for the governing body to act decisively and appropriately in order to preserve the fairness and competitiveness of Formula One. If three teams are revealed to have breached the cap, it will be a clear indication of the FIA’s failure to enforce the regulations effectively. The future of the budget cap and its impact on the sport depend on the actions taken by the governing body.
Sources : corrieredellosport