Red Bull’s breach of the cost cap was a huge talking point last season, with speculation emerging about the type and severity of penalties that should be applied for such infractions. In a recent interview, Stefano Domenicali outlined his preference.
A report has emerged with suggestions that three teams could have exceeded the spending limit last year, sparking a fresh round of debate about on issue.
Although there is nothing concrete about this report, the ambiguity and uncertainty that resulted from last season’s fiasco have left plenty of question marks.
Considering the rapid progression from the likes of Aston Martin and McLaren, F1 can be pleased that the budget cap has levelled the playing field with regard to spending without muzzling development.
With this in mind, it will be imperative for the FIA to clearly and effectively communicate the consequences of exceeding the limit of approximately £130 million.
When asked about the prospect of teams having breached the cap last season, Domenicali made sure not to comment before receiving the official FIA report:
“There is no room for speculation and comments, which are not good for anybody,” he told it.motorsport.com.
However, the Formula 1 CEO was far more direct when outlining that sporting penalties – from his perspective – are the best way to police the budget cap:
“I would like the penalty to be sporting in the event of an infraction; it is something we asked very clearly.
“There are three regulations to be respected. Sporting, technical and financial, and any infractions must be punished with sporting measures.
“You can’t go in any other direction.”
It is perhaps premature to discuss the potential consequences of exceeding the cost cap, especially since – at least for now – nobody is confirmed to have gone over the limit.
Still, in a sport where fine margins can make a huge difference, it will be intriguing to observe how the FIA can ensure that teams respect the cost cap.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang