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Nobody broke the F1 cost cap in 2022

FIA says all 10 teams are in the clear over last year’s spending, with no repeat of Red Bull and Aston’s fines

Published: 06 Sep 2023

The FIA has confirmed that there were no breaches of the F1 cost cap last season, meaning there’ll be none of the controversy that saw Red Bull fined $7 million (about £6 million at the time) for a ‘minor overspend’ in 2021.

It was also hit with a 10 per cent reduction in aero testing time, while Aston Martin had to pay out $450,000 for a ‘procedural breach’; i.e. getting its paperwork wrong.

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The news will be a relief to F1 bosses, not least because of the cloud that was cast over the sport and the incredible title fight between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton two years ago.

Some believe the overspend must’ve given Red Bull an unfair and lasting advantage (it has lost just one grand prix since July 2022) that deserved a tougher punishment, while others point out that its dominance can’t be explained by going over 2021’s £118,036,000 limit (some of which would’ve been spent on 2022’s car) by a mere 1.5 per cent.

Anyhow, the FIA has recognised the importance of everyone having confidence in the rulebook, and so it has made “significant investments” in the Cost Cap Administration department so that it can complete its “highly complex” work quickly and efficiently.

It says the “intensive and thorough process” involved detailed analysis on reams of documents, and that extensive checks were done on the teams’ non-F1-related activities to make sure no one was sneakily designing front wings off the books.

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With all 10 teams receiving their certificates of compliance for 2022, the FIA says it will continue to refine its financial regulations, whether that be the rules themselves or how they’re policed.

“The FIA Cost Cap Administration notes that all competitors acted at all times in a spirit of good faith and cooperation throughout the process,” read a statement on the FIA website.

Guess that means there was no sign of chefs with degrees in aerodynamics…

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