In the preview of the 2022 F1 Singapore Grand Prix, the news broke that two teams broke the budget limit rule last season, so now the ball was in the FIA’s court to clarify the case. According to some in the paddock, it was Red Bull and Aston Martin, two teams that supposedly would have benefited from spending more money than allowed by the regulations of the international federation in 2021 .
Apparently, these teams would not have violated the regulations in the same way, since there is a distinction in terms of excess spending that is located at the 5% threshold. If that figure is exceeded, it is considered a “serious” infraction, while if they only skip the regulations without reaching that number, it is something “minor”.
As indicated by the sources that reported on the breach of the regulation, Red Bull would have exceeded that 5% , with which it would have to face the consequences of a much stronger sanction than in the case of Aston Martin, who would not have exceeded the figure.
What happens if an F1 team exceeds the budget limit by more than 5% and enters the zone of “serious” infringements?
In the event that a Formula 1 team, the international federation ensures that “it would impose a deduction of points in the constructors’ championship”, and in addition “it may punish with an economic sanction and/or any other sporting penalty”. The possibility of excluding said team from the World Cup or a future reduction of the budget limit is also contemplated.
That’s what could happen to the whole of energy drinks due to the actions they took last season when they were fighting for the two world titles against Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton.
When the 5% is not exceeded , in “minor” infractions, as would be the case of Aston Martin, there are different alternatives, although the most likely is a fine and a public warning, something that would not affect the results achieved on the track . However, two more severe sanctions are added, such as “the suspension of an entire competition [free practice session, for example], including, for the avoidance of doubt, the race itself”, or the restriction on the permitted aerodynamic tests.
It remains to be seen how the FIA will resolve the matter, but other aggravating factors may come into play, such as “any element of bad faith, dishonesty, intentional concealment or fraud”, “lack of cooperation” or a history of “multiple breaches” within the FIA. own season or in previous ones.
In addition to this, mitigating factors include “voluntary disclosure”, a “compliance history”, “full and unimpeded cooperation” and, perhaps most importantly, “unforeseen force majeure events”, such as repair of a single-seater after an accident.
Can the FIA take the 2021 season F1 title from Max Verstappen after Red Bull has gone over the budget cap?
If the international federation dares to take last year’s title from Max Verstappen when they discovered that Red Bull exceeded the maximum amount of spending allowed, it would be a scandal of historic proportions, similar to what has happened on many occasions in the Games Olympics when the TAS decided to sanction an athlete for doping years later.
However, it is never too late to penalize cheaters if the fact had happened, and if the championship ended up in the hands of Lewis Hamilton nobody could object because they knew what they were facing when they exceeded the cost limit.
Any decision should be accepted because it is what the FIA regulations establish, but not even Toto Wolff himself , boss of the Brackley team, expects the governing body to change what was defined on the track in that controversial Abu Grand Prix Dhabi of 2021.
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