Wolff asserts FIA’s stringent approach will expose F1 cost cap violators

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As per recent disclosure by F1 Flow.com, the supervising body of motor racing, FIA, is intensifying its scrutiny of team’s cost cap submissions.

FIA officials have been making rounds to teams for verifying their cost cap numbers. Some teams have been handed over detailed questionnaires requiring over 100 clarifications about their expenditures.

Furthermore, the FIA has initiated investigations into teams’ involvement in non-F1 activities.

This action follows technical directive TD45, stipulating that any Intellectual Property (IP) transfer from teams’ non-F1 units to their grand prix groups must fall within the cost cap.

This measure was triggered by suspicions of teams funding non-F1 staff and projects to seek performance enhancements not counted under their F1 cost cap allowance.

When asked by F1 Flow.com about potential exploitation, Wolff responded: “I believe so. Yes. The FIA’s thorough auditing of us was extensive and diligent, and I am confident they will do the same with other teams. If any team has been reckless or fraudulent, they will be caught.”

The implementation of TD45 has incited some teams to alter their infrastructures to adhere to the updated interpretation of rules.

McLaren’s leader, Andrea Stella, informed that his team established a new firm, McLaren Advanced Projects, to segregate non-F1 work from the grand prix team entirely.

Photo by: Zak Mauger / F1 Flow Images

Stella said, “We appreciate this move by the FIA and believe rigorous enforcement is essential. We recently set up McLaren Advanced Projects, an independent engineering unit, in anticipation of regulatory changes. We’re collaborating with the FIA to tighten regulations further, as cost gaps are key to a fair playing field, thereby enhancing the sport and racing’s excitement.”

Last year, Red Bull faced penalties for breaching the spending limit during their victorious 2021 run.

Christian Horner, the team principal, stated that the FIA’s increasing strictness was beneficial as it provided clearer guidelines and prevented teams from inadvertently overstepping limits.

Photo by: Mark Sutton / F1 Flow Images

Horner noted, “As regulations like TD45 become definitive, it offers more clarity. Earlier, the challenge was the ambiguity of a new set of regulations. As the regulations mature, it becomes more manageable.”

Wolff added that complying with the FIA’s cost cap checks was no cakewalk. He appreciated the effort put into enforcing these regulations and called it the right approach.

However, Wolff clarified that TD45 had not instigated any changes within their organization. He emphasized their transparency and willingness to be a model for other teams, with every detail of their non-F1 work open to the FIA.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about FIA cost cap regulation

What is the FIA doing to ensure adherence to the cost cap in F1 teams?

The FIA is intensifying its scrutiny on team’s cost cap submissions. This includes visiting teams to verify their cost cap figures and initiating checks into any non-F1 activities by the teams. They have also introduced a new technical directive, TD45, which stipulates that any Intellectual Property transfer from a team’s non-F1 unit to their grand prix team must fall within the cost cap.

What prompted the introduction of the technical directive TD45?

TD45 was introduced due to suspicions that F1 teams were funding non-F1 staff and projects to find performance gains that were not included as part of their F1 cost cap allowance.

How have teams reacted to these stricter regulations by the FIA?

Teams have reacted by making changes to their infrastructures to comply with these updated interpretations of the rules. For instance, McLaren has established a new company, McLaren Advanced Projects, to ensure any non-F1 work is entirely separate from the grand prix team.

How does Christian Horner view the FIA’s increased strictness on cost cap compliance?

Christian Horner, team principal of Red Bull, sees the FIA’s increased strictness as beneficial. He believes that as regulations like TD45 become definitive, they offer more clarity, helping to avoid accidental breaches of spending limits.

How has the implementation of TD45 affected Mercedes’ F1 team?

Mercedes’ F1 team leader, Wolff, clarified that TD45 has not led to any changes within their organization. He emphasized their transparency, stating that every detail of their non-F1 work is open to the FIA, and they aspire to be a model for other teams.

More about FIA cost cap regulation

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SpeedRacer72 July 5, 2023 - 12:56 am

All this talk about cost cap…just let them race, man! all this regulations are killing the spirit of the sport…

Gearhead_Gary July 5, 2023 - 3:11 am

Looks like McLaren is ahead of the curve, setting up a whole new company to comply with the rules. Smart move… really smart.

F1Fan89 July 5, 2023 - 4:03 am

This just goes to show, the FIA ain’t messin around anymore! Teams better watch out with their spending, no more loopholes folks.

GrandPrixGuru July 5, 2023 - 4:39 am

Wolfs confidence in his teams transparency is commendable. Other teams should take note. Transparency = trust.

PitStopPro July 5, 2023 - 6:27 am

Can’t believe Red Bull got caught out last year… They’ve got their work cut out for them this season. Go, Horner, go!


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