FIA issues a new technical directive on budget cap regulations

FIA issues a new technical directive on budget cap regulations

The FIA has clarified a key part of Formula 1’s budget cap regulations in a new technical directive issued to teams last month.

Technical Directive 45 (TD45), which clarifies the cost cap administration, adds further information on how the sport’s governing body evaluates the distinction between teams’ F1 and non-F1 activities.

The distinction between the two is critical since teams are not allowed to spend money on non-F1 activities when adhering to a budget cap. Any team that was able to leverage non-F1 operations to benefit its F1 program might be able to benefit from spending above the budget cap.

Several teams have ventures outside of Formula One, some of which they started before the budget cap was implemented in 2021. Others started technology companies that they later sold.

Four teams have apparently received attention from the governing body as a result of a new technical directive, TD45, that the FIA purportedly issued to limit the influence of outside sports interests on teams.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, those four teams are Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, and Aston Martin. The FIA is seeking further clarification on their satellite operations following the submission of the most recent round of cost cap data by all F1 teams.

The Applied Science branch of Mercedes has created innovations for use in the America’s Cup sailing competition. Red Bull’s Advanced Technologies, which also supplies AlphaTauri and the world champions, has helped another competitor in the same event and is currently working on the RB17 road vehicle.

Aston Martin Performance Technologies, an affiliated company that is equivalent to that of Aston Martin, was established in 2021. No team has been billed with breaking any regulations.

Ferrari, on the other hand, won the most recent 24 Hours of Le Mans thanks to the seamless coordination between their racing and GT divisions. These are all examples of projects that are outside the F1 budget cap, and the FIA is apparently looking into them more closely and requesting additional information from the three parties.

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Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer, who has previously voiced his reservations about such programs on a number of occasions this season, is likely to be pleased to hear the news.

The FIA’s statement, however, shows that it is aware of the possibility that issues could develop in this area as the Financial Regulations continue to be relatively fresh. The ten teams’ first submissions were assessed last year, and three violations led to sanctions.

Red Bull was fined and reprimanded for £1.8 million in overspending, as Aston Martin and Williams were fined for implementing the rules improperly.

The Financial Regulations outline a list of expenses that teams may omit from their non-F1 operations if they can be distinguished from their F1 activities by the expenditure on them. They cover expenses for paying social security benefits to employees, using equipment and paying for parts, consumables, and outsourcing services. They also cover expenses for using energy, gas, and water.

By March 31st of this year, F1 teams were required to submit details regarding their spending for the 2022 season. Last year, the FIA gave certificates of compliance to the teams whose October 10th spending was determined to be to meet the cap.

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