Wolff suggests court action over FIA budget cap decision

Today is now the4th date set by the FIA to deliver there verdict on which teams honoured the 2021 Formula One budget cap and which teams are in breach. A decision was expected last Wednesday before the Japanese GP but for the third time it was deferred by the FIA.

The budget cap regulations were introduced for the 2021 Formula One season and a limit of spend by the teams was set at $145m. However a number of items sit outside that limit including power units, drivers’ salaries to name but two.

The FIA received submissions from all the teams in March this season detailing their previous year expenditure and have since been queueing certain items to clarify whether the teams should include them or not.



F1 cost cap row erupts

At the Singapore GP a huge row broke out as Toto Wolff accused Red Bull Racing of “massively” overspending and Lewis Hamilton commented that’d Mercedes spent just $300 more he may well have been the 2021 F1 drivers’ champion.

Christian Horner admitted there were 6 items outstanding the FIA wished to clarify and that they were fully confident their submission would comply with the spending limit.

German publication AMuS however claimed Red Bull had spent around $10m more than the FIA cap allowed. 

Mercedes Boss outlines the process that should be resolved today and how it may end up in a legal feud.



Wolff outlines legal process

The teams will either be issued with a certificate of compliance or need to enter into a settlement agreement with the FIA as to the overspend they have made.

“If it doesn’t come to the settlement agreement, because either the team doesn’t want to do it, or the FIA thinks it needs to go to the Cost Cap Adjudication Panel, then there is a group of judges, independent judges, that are going to look at the regulations and the case and come to a conclusion whether they should be penalised or not,” explained Wolff.

“If the team is not happy with the outcome, then you can still go to the ICA and appeal there, so it’s a lengthy process, but I think super robust in terms of the governance.”

There were paddock rumours between Singapore and Japan that Mercedes itself may e in a minor breach of the regulations and it was notable Toto Wolff planned not to attend the Japanese GP before the FIA postponed its final adjudication.



Storm in an F1 tea cup?

Clearly all the teams will have had queries made by the FIA around their interpretation of which items are to be included and those which are properly outside the regulation,

The FIA robustly defended its position and pushed back against the wild claims being made by certain team bosses stating.

“The FIA informs that the conclusion of the analysis of the 2021 financial submissions of the Formula 1 teams and the subsequent release of Certificates of Compliance to the Financial Regulations will not take place on Wednesday, 5 October.”

 “The analysis of financial submissions is a long and complex process that is ongoing and will be concluded to enable the release of the Certificates on Monday, 10 October. 

The Financial Regulations were agreed unanimously by all Competitors, who have worked positively and collaboratively with the FIA Cost Cap Administration throughout this first year under the Financial Regulations. 

“As previously communicated, there has been significant and unsubstantiated speculation and conjecture in relation to this matter, and the FIA reiterates that until it is finalised, no further information will be provided. 

“The FIA also reiterates that any suggestion that FIA personnel have disclosed sensitive information is equally baseless.”



FIA leak to Mercedes?

Following the apparent leak to AMuS and Mercedes there was a significant amount of speculation that the ex-Mercedes legal advisor now at the FIA had secretly passed information on prior to the FIA’s final conclusions.

Clearly Formula One’s governing body denies this strenuously.

Later today, if the deadline is not again pushed back, the FIA should release the names of the teams who are in compliance and those who need to make a “settlement agreement”.

This of course includes penalties such as reduced wind tunnel and CFD time, budget cuts and even championship points dedeuctions.

READ MORE: FIA pacify furious drivers with statement

9 responses to “Wolff suggests court action over FIA budget cap decision

  1. Can we just clarify something here… are we saying that Toto / Mercedes were also in possession of details at the same time as AMuS, or is it that he was merely discussing what had already been published, because I don’t recall anywhere or anyone saying the former, other than in here

    • The fia need to sort themselfs out no teams should be allowed to twist words to get drivers of a penalty and call a spend cap what it says what a team spends and not on specific things powertrain must be part of the count and not seperate and one othere thing how is wheatley still able to sway things with the stewards to better his team

  2. Some of the comments on these sites are downright laughable, and clearly written with biased POV.
    1st off, the general public know nothing about the situation, it is all SPECULATION of who did what and to what extent (As an ex F1 employee all teams are playing the system with ‘clever accounting’).
    2nd, “powertrain must be part of the count and not separate” Again biased POV as you assume RBR have not adhered to the rules and used RBPT for ‘accounting purposes.
    All teams will have ‘cooked the books’ in some ways, all the big players have “Advanced Technologies Groups” which are also used for creative accounting.
    Also, how does your recommendation then relate to the ‘non-powertrain’ teams (RBR, Williams, AM, HASS, AT, SAUBER, McL) do we have a two-tiered budget cap system in place?
    How exactly did JW sway the stewards?
    Lec ran off circuit, gained an advantage: Slam dunk.
    End of the race: whilst we don’t know for sure, but UK tv, claimed JW was questioning (as were most teams) the FIA’s decision to award full points, (the “Assumed” claim on TV was that he like all teams assumed Half Points)
    Ultimately, the FIA applied the letter of the law, no interpretation, they applied it how it was written, black and white. (all team bosses have since agreed this was correct, and agree it needs to be ‘amended for next year)

  3. Out of interest, how is Horner getting on with his “So unless there is a clear withdrawal of those statements, we will be taking it incredibly seriously and looking at what the options available to us are” comment?

  4. If there was a breach which lead to RBR having a development advantage in 21, combined with the fiasco of the final race, it’s clear in my mind that LH is indeed an 8 times WC. The FIA are continuing to allow the worlds premier Moter sport to descend into fiasco. I’ve been watching for 45 years, and may I point out have no LH bias here, but combined with the amount of questionable driving from Vstapp last year, it should never have ended as it did. This year he should have been a clear World Champion, but even that momentous victory was tarnished by a mess of incoherent rule applications and miss proceedures. Not good enough and I know that many many fans feel as aggrieved as I do.

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