The FIA has sanctioned Williams F1 for failing to submit its ‘Full Year Financial Reporting Documentation’ by the March 31, 2022 deadline.
Since the start of the 2021 season, Formula One teams have been required to operate within a budgetary constraint. This year’s ceiling is $140 million, but it will drop to $135 million next year.
Williams, on the other hand, has not gotten into issue with the FIA by exceeding the spending cap, but rather by submitting their papers (outlining their spending) late. The Oxfordshire-based team has broken the budget cap restrictions for the first time and they were fined $25,000 for their actions.
Williams was notified by the FIA on April 12 that they had broken a procedure. Three days later, Williams reacted to the notification by acknowledging they had broken the guidelines.
According to the FIA, the team was then completely cooperative in attempting to rectify the infraction. They were then advised that they had until June 1 to fix their error by submitting the report. Williams did so, but the FIA fined them $25,000 and ordered them to pay the Cost Cap Administration’s fees.
“On 12 April 2022, the Cost Cap Administration notified Williams that it had committed a Procedural Breach,” stated the FIA on Tuesday.
“On 15 April 2022, Williams responded to the notification accepting that it had committed a Procedural Breach and explaining the steps that it had taken to seek to avert that breach.”
“Having considered Williams’ explanation and given in particular that the Procedural Breach was voluntarily disclosed by Williams in advance of the Full Year Reporting Deadline of 31 March 2022 and Williams has been fully cooperative in seeking to remedy the breach, the Cost Cap Administration deemed it appropriate to offer Williams an ABA resolving the breach on the terms set out below. That offer was accepted by Williams.”
“The Cost Cap Administration confirms that, as of the date hereof, Williams has within the specified deadline remediated the Procedural Breach, paid the Financial Penalty, and bore the costs incurred by the Cost Cap Administration in connection with the preparation of the ABA.”
Those teams nearing the $140 million budget maximum have petitioned the FIA to raise it to account for rampant inflation, greater energy and freight costs, and global supply chain concerns that have eaten into their budgets this year.
Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, and McLaren have all urged for a change, while smaller teams are opposed to any increase in the $140 million cap.
However, there are concerns about the punishment that would be imposed on teams that exceeded the threshold by 5% or less, which would be considered a “minor” violation.
“I think all the major teams are going to breach that $140m cap this year, but what is the penalty for a minor breach?” asked Red Bull boss Christian Horner.
“What we don’t want to do is end up is playing a game of chicken as to say, do you go for 4.9 per cent over, do we go for 4.7%? And that could be one upgrade: that could be the differentiating factor of this world championship.”
“I think what we do need is clarity and clarity quickly.”