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.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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