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F1 cost cap breach threatens Verstappen’s 2022 championship

Image for article titled The One Way an F1 Cost Cap Breach Could Threaten Verstappen's 2022 Championship

image: Alessio Morgese / NurPhoto (beautiful pictures)

Millions of Formula 1 fans waited with ragged breaths ahead of the announcement from the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). Motorsport’s international regulator is expected to reveal its findings after investigating the financial statements submitted for the 2021 F1 season. It is rumored that the two F1 teams, supposedly Red Bull and Aston Martin, which is attached to the cost limit in the previous season. Instead, the FIA ​​released a statement saying there will be a delay until next Monday The Japanese Grand Prix this weekend.

The FIA’s full statement today:

“The FIA ​​announces that the conclusion of the analysis of the 2021 financial records of the Formula 1 teams and the publication of the Certificate of Financial Compliance will not take place on Wednesday, October 5. analysis of financial submissions is a long and complex ongoing process and will be concluded to enable the issuance of the Certificate on Monday, October 10. The Financial Regulations have been approved by all Unanimous Competitors who have worked actively and collaboratively with the FIA ​​Expenses Authority during this first year under Financial Regulation. As previously announced, there has been substantial and unfounded speculation and conjecture regarding this matter, and the FIA ​​reiterates that until it is finalized, no further information will be available. provided. The FIA ​​also reiterates that any suggestion that FIA personnel disclose sensitive information is unfounded.”

Along with the delay, the governing body’s statement also referred to “speculation and conjecture” that has pervaded the sport’s landscape. Influential figures, such as Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto, cannot help but voice their opinions on the matter as if it were truth. The FIA ​​even mentioned a conspiracy theory that Shaila-Ann Rao, the FIA’s interim General Secretary in charge of Motor Sport and a former employee of the Mercedes F1 team, had leaked information about the breach to Toto Wolff.

In short, the team bosses and drivers do not have any accurate information about the investigation. They will know the outcome of the investigation when notified by the FIA. The only guidebook for potential paths forward is the publicly available F1 Financial Regulations. Red Bull Racing face possible penalties if they are found to have breached the cost cap. The FIA ​​could fine the team, limit its ability to test and develop its cars, or reduce the team’s cost cap in upcoming seasons. The FIA ​​also has the option to deduct championship points from Red Bull Racing and its drivers. However, points can only be taken away from the 2021 F1 season, which is being closely monitored. If you don’t believe me, you can look up Articles 9.1(b)(ii), 9.1(b)(iii), 9.1(c)(ii) and 9.1(c)(iii) of the Financial Regulations for yourself. .

There is only a single path that leads to Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen being stripped of the 2022 World Drivers’ Championship. Red Bull has to become eligible for a “Material Sporting Penalty” by exceeding the cost cap’s total value by five percent or more. Then, the FIA can impose the penalty listed under Article 9.1(c)(vi), “exclusion from the Championship.” There are no conditional constraints, like with points deductions. Any team found to have committed a major breach could theoretically be excluded from the championship in any season deemed appropriate. However, it is also the harshest of over a dozen different sanctions in the rules, a proverbial death penalty. We can only wait and see if this is destination where the investigation leads the FIA.


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