Delay to budget cap report suggests truth to rumours of a breach – Binotto

2022 Japanese Grand Prix

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The FIA’s decision to delay its report on teams’ compliance with the budget cap in 2021 suggests someone has breached the rules, says Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto.

The sport’s governing body intended to issue certificates of compliance to teams on Wednesday last week. Instead it issued a statement announcing the decision had been postponed to today.

It noted there had been “significant and unsubstantiated speculation and conjecture in relation to this matter.” Reports have claimed two teams, Red Bull and Aston Martin, may not have complied with the regulations and the $145 million spending limit.

However Binotto believes there is no smoke without fire. “It’s interesting to see that it’s taking so long to issue it because it was due days ago,” he told media including RaceFans yesterday.

“Why it’s simply waiting so long, certainly because there are discussions behind, which are simply giving, let me say, truth to the fact that there are rumours and speculations about maybe teams having been in breach. So I think it’s simply confirming that there are discussions because there is something not clear in there.”

If any breach has taken place, Binotto expects “full transparency and clarity on the discussions” around it and sanctions which address how any over-spending by a team could have improved its performance last year and in subsequent seasons.

“What’s important for us is whatever would be the breach, if any breach, the penalty has to be significant. Because believe me that our car that in Japan tried to fight for the best position, is a car that has been developed maintaining, respecting what has been the budget cap itself.

“We know how much, even if it’s a minor breach, how much it would have implied, how much could have implied in terms of performance. I mentioned five million is about half a second, even one or two million is about two tenths which is from being second on the grid or simply being on pole and maybe having the fastest car.

“Obviously it’s about 2021. [But] 2021 is an advantage you gain over the following seasons.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has consistently insisted his team’s submissions are in line with the FIA’s budget cap. “We’ve been shocked at the speculation and accusations that have been made by other teams,” he told the BBC today. “We wait for the FIA to conclude their process and we wait to see what comes out. Anything other than compliance we’ll be extremely surprised at.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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57 comments on “Delay to budget cap report suggests truth to rumours of a breach – Binotto”

  1. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    10th October 2022, 10:35

    Do we know roughly what time this is being brushed under the carpet today?

    1. Hahaha! It’s got me refreshing F1 news pages every 5 minutes. I’m annoyed with myself that I care so much even though it’s so widely anticipated and my own expectation that it will likely come to nothing.

      1. I am sure I heard about 3

    2. LOL! Very good.

    3. Good one! Made me laugh!!

    4. Brushed under the carpet? Mate, certain media and fans are still talking about Abu Dhabi 2021. Regularly. Like every damn week. Even after Masi was fired and all the aftermath and regurgitation of outreage. What in the world makes you think this will be swept under the rug?

      No, I expect that Red Bull will be severely punished, probably financially, the regulations will be adjusted to prevent anyone else from engaging in a “pay-to-win” sort of scheme. But any punishment that doesn’t involve disqualifying Red Bull, Verstappen, banning him from racing, and hanging his mom and dad, will be deemed as insufficient and won’t shut up about for years to come. Just like the Masi thing. So no, it won’t be swept under the rug. The opposite is true

  2. I don’t think these guys would be singing like this if they didn’t truly believe or even have leaks/evidence of budget breaches.

    1. Yeah totally, like that time Mercedes accused Red Bull of cheating with the flexifloor. These guys are true professionals.

  3. I don’t know how spending on what is allocated to when, but presumably a budget breach in 2021 could well have been used for developing a 2022 car.

    1. @dang This is very much the crux of the matter. Deliberate overspend in 2021 on the 2022 car would probably provide peformance advantages into 2023/24, hence the push for genuine draconian punishments.

      If F1 did brand new, non-transferable regs every year then you could limit punishment to the results of that specific year, it it quantifying the latent performance advantage carried into future years that will be the issue.

    2. if i understand things correctly any spending in a calendar year applies to that year’s spending cap, but an alternative could be to apply the cap to which car they are working on. So work happening now on the 2023 cars would apply to the 2023 cap but when work starts on the 2024 car next ~July/Aug work done on work on the 2024 car would apply to the 2024 cap but continued development on the 2023 car would apply to the 2023 cap. That would complicate things a little bit towards the end of the year when you’ve got people working on both projects, but i’ve done that in contract work work before where my time was broken down to 15 increments assigned to different charge codes depending on what I was doing during those times. The advantage is that the year’s budget would basically end as soon as the team gets home and unpacked from the last race instead of stretching onto December so maybe they could get the results sooner.

      That’s my attempt to be helpful. My cynical side just say a 2nd asterisk(**) to Verstappen’s 1st championship and put one on this year’s too which really is a shame because i think he deserves this year’s crown.

      1. But if you are allowed X amount in a year, if you want to work on a car 10 years in advance it should come from the current year’s budget.

    3. IMO The fairest way to deal with it is to reduce that team’s cap by the amount of overspend for five years and penalise the team by not getting any constructor’s championship points for 3 years, depending on the amount of overspend.

  4. Ferrari demanding transparency… Can we please see the agreement for the rocketship, fuel flow affair then?

    1. The hypocrisy levels are staggering. As I said before, it is all the result of too much at stake for factory teams. It leads to politics and cheating. Get rid of Mercedes and Ferrari and return to F1 intention: chassis builders that compete and on a side note do need an engine from somewhere.

      1. Politics has always been present, it’s never been just about the racing.

      2. do you really think cheating and politics would stop if the factory teams left?? Spend a little time around amateur motorsports when guys have nothing to gain but a little plastic trophy.

      3. Conveniently eliding the involvement of Red Bull in any lack of transparecency, regulation breaching etc. As someone said: ‘The hypocrisy levels are staggering.’ Oh, that was you Mayrton!

      4. Get rid of Mercedes and Ferrari and return to F1 intention: chassis builders that compete and on a side note do need an engine from somewhere.

        Great logic. Let’s ask the rivals of the team that broke the regulations to quit because of manufacturer politicking?!? Like a drinks manufacturer is any less political.

        They’re all hypocrites man.. Ferrari with their cheat engine which they used for 2 or 3 seasons. Mercedes with their illegal tyre test.. and Red Bull with their influencing of race officials and breaking budgetary rules.

        Red Bull were the first to make cringeworthy comments about Ferrari’s engine in 2017/2018 and now Ferrari and Mercedes are the first to complain when Horner breaks the budget caps. There’s nothing new here.

        1. @todfod Not forgetting Red Bull’s flexible attitude to aero flexing…

          1. @david-br

            And some very questionable air vents that were only for ‘driver cooling’.

            I get that teams want to push the rules to the limit, but no one whines better than the Marko and Horner combination. They’re probably stronger in the whining department than they are at aero.

      5. A bit high on the caffeinated kool aid, are we?

    2. A rocketship unable to even remotely challenge for the title? Strange definition (2019).

  5. I mentioned five million is about half a second, even one or two million is about two tenths which is from being second on the grid or simply being on pole and maybe having the fastest car

    Binotto is exaggerating quite a lot there. If that were true, any midfield team could have bought a championship in any pre-budget cap year by spending only £10-20 million extra in a season. The big teams were spending hundreds of millions more than the rest of the teams to be a second faster.

    Diminishing returns will mean investment is more effective under the current cap, but nowhere near that much.

    1. If you have spent so much extra in previous seasons, there is a good chance you gained a lot of knowledge that can be used in future seasons.

      And lets not forget that Adrian Newey is the only current designer to have previously built ground effect F1 cars.

      1. I think most people are forgeting that Red Bull has Adrian Newey with experience building ground effect cars that saves a lot of time and money looking for solutions …

    2. What’s most ironic about this is that Ferrari threw away an entire year of development solely for the purpose of pouring all that money into development for the 2022 car. Yet somehow, despite spending all those extra millions, they are not seconds ahead of the field. They are not even the fastest car on track. How is this possible if all these extra millions mean so much for lap times?

      The maths on this don’t quite add up, do they?

    3. They all struggled with weight at the start of the year – so how much would it cost to homologate a lightweight chassis and how much time would it gain you?

  6. Why is the FIA always so slow when it comes to reporting?
    Are they waiting to see how much controversy would happen by any negative penalty towards a team or driver?
    Even last years final race decision & Michael Masi quitting hasn’t quelled the result & Verstappens “Win & subsequent WDC”
    Now if they were to find Red Bull guilty & had to DSQ them from last years championship then Verstappen would also lose that title
    Could it be they are trying to find a way to sweep everything under the tarmac?

    1. Covering all legal stuff otherwise they get sued ofcourse and looking at the big names that will be not some millions but rather 100+ milions due damge to thier Names.

  7. Ferrari asking for transparency!! I fully agree with them, but a little bit ironic/ contradictory after the 2019 engine/ oil burning controversy!

    1. I think the issue with the oil burning would be that too much info regarding engine design would have to be made public. Thus the non publican of the issie.

    2. Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull..ALL hypocrites! That’s the very definition of F1! But the drama sells

  8. Understandable the FIA have delayed it, wouldn’t want to take the shine off Verstappen’s title

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      10th October 2022, 11:18

      You mean like exactly what they did on Sunday? Their officiating lead to the new Champion crossing the finish line, carrying on at racing speed to finish what he thought was going to be another lap and then getting out of the car and doing interviews before learning that he had actually won the title?

    2. Of course there was…but nothing will come from this…it’s about time to get things going and apply them regarding the team and or pilot…

  9. So, if $5m is worth half a second, I expect Ferrari to spend $100m and then be 10 seconds a lap faster.

    Or is the original premise just a load of pony….

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      10th October 2022, 11:17

      In years gone by spending $300 million allowed the teams to explore every eventuality and then some. The diminishing returns therefore would require large sums of money to get a better result.

      Spending $145 has probably allowed for a couple of designs to be fully explored and then one taken on. In that respect if the team had any concerns then perhaps $5 million would be enough to make a major change to the design.

  10. Hopefully RB will be punished hard and Max will lose his 2021 and 2022 championship.
    FIA needs to set an example to prevent other teams doing this

    1. Fine, give them to Kimi. Or to me, now that we are at it….

    2. Why do you think it’s Red Bull it could be Mercedes as they had a lot of updates and designed 2 cars for 2022…

    3. This would be unfair to Max. If proven guilty, it would be a mistake from the Red Bull Team.

      A fair punishment would be for the Red Bull Team to be stripped off their Constructor’s Championship points in both 2021 and 2022, with Max keeping his wins and Championships.

      This would make either Ferrari or Mercedes the Constructor’s Champion of 2022, depending on the outcome of the remaining races in 2022.

  11. This is my tin foil hat moment

    The FIA have delayed the release to allow for Red Bull to win the championship in Suzuka, so much so that they intervened to ensure maximum race points were given out and Leclerc was penalised for something that could have been considered borderline considering other decisions in the past have gone either way. i.e. they wanted it settled this weekend just gone

    This now goes to a disclosure release happening in an environment where RB have been WDC for two years in a row and the fans would have conniptions if RB were penalised anything that could strip them of either championship, last years and this. As a fait accompli, the FIA have tied their own hands to ensure that they can’t redress the balance without there being maximum controversy, maximum upset and maximum coverage. This way, with celebrations in full swing, any breach can be swept under the carpet with an accompanying statement about maintaining the integrity and reputation of the FIA in this atmosphere.

    There will be no stripping of titles from any year. There will be no drivers points deductions, but there may be manufacturers points deductions, fines and restrictions on upcoming testing which on the face of it may appear harsh, but considering how far ahead RB are now, and how far ahead of P3 they were in the WCC last year, nothing will ultimately change this year or last, except margins.

    I would hope that both breaching teams are penalised in one way or another for next year as breaches cannot go unpunished. Whether that is in the form of restricted wind tunnel of CFD elements, a reduction in their cost cap or increased supervision remains to be seen, but I doubt RB, if it is them, will go down without a fight. Whilst there is no remedy within the regulations for the FIA to hear an appeal, the courts system will hear them if they are brought and the regulations allow for specific regulations to be deemed illegal. Furthermore, how will it be deemed fair if the team with the least wind tunnel / CFD budget are pegged back further?

    I await the ‘verdict’ with baited breath as I am interested in how the FIA are going to weasel their way out of this one without looking spineless whilst imposing detrimental sanctions that don’t actually affect anything, because, well, their job is first and foremost to protect the reputation of the FIA and they don’t want to admit they dropped the ball last season twice, or this season at all.

    1. I stopped reading after the points comment.

      Everyone can read that rule plain and clear, there was no “intervening” involved. The rule was just poorly constructed when it was set up, but the rule is still the rule regardless.

    2. All sounds pretty likely to me. I don’t think the other teams will let anyone get away with too light a punishment though, be it Red Bull or anyone else. We saw with the Abu Dhabi controversy that Toto and Merc can be like a dog with a bone.

      1. Nah, if it turns out that it wasn’t Red Bull, but only Aston Martin or maybe McLaren going slightly over budget, then no-one will care anymore. You can already see in the comments that nobody is talking about Aston Martin in the budget cap topics, despite them being named also.

        The tinfoil hat community may make some noise about coverups, but it will be very silent afterwards.

    3. Did the FIA place a banana peel at the first chicane apex so that LeClerc would go off?

  12. No Binotto. It only shows how desperate you are to find something that says that it is not your fault that Ferrari lost the world championship title.

  13. « We know nothing but we will say all ! »

  14. As if Ferrari calling for transparency wasn’t funny enough, have to point out the weirdness of asking for such a thing from what is a confidential procedure. Financial audits often go back and forth, this is known. Not sure why we’re trying to make it into a big thing.

    Even more funny is Binotto and Wolff both throwing numbers that are getting ever increasingly smaller and insisting that even a minor overspend is the cause. This despite Ferrari spending the national profit of a small country, a veto and getting money for just turning up and still failing to build a superior car.

    Truth is nobody knows what the real-world benefit of a breach would be. Even funnier, nobody actually knows if they did breach anything at all. It may be worth waiting until the FIA announce something before we reach for the pitchforks.

    1. Fully agree. Intentionally created nonsense counting on sensation media to make it even bigger. Like you said these financial audits typically go back and forth. Any information used while the process is still ongoing is 100% worthless. Yet some people in the audience will now see it as the FIA being not sincere when it turns out to be all ok. It is the world upside down. Most don’t even realise they are being played to benefit some one else’s political agenda

  15. It still could be Ferrari that overspent. They don’t know whether their submissions have been accepted.

  16. ‘Nothing to see here. Move on.’
    Phrases that never left anyone suspicious…

    1. “The FIA has reached a private settlement with RBR and Aston Martin over minor cap breaches.”

  17. If this announcement is coming today it’s getting a bit late. 15.39 in Europe as I type this. Are they going to sneak it out at 6.00 p.m.?

    1. Came here to say the same. The FIA really aren’t helping prevent conspiracy theories with all this.

  18. Delay because they (FIA) has still no idea how to handle this. Too much options for a minor breach. If you take away points and a WDC what do you do with a major breach? The same options plus?

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