Lando Norris calls for stiffer budget cap breach penalties

Lando Norris calls for stiffer budget cap breach penalties

The FIA will announce if any teams have been found guilty of exceeding the 2021 budget cap on Monday.

The FIA has stated that after this weekend they will be awarding certificates of clearance to teams who kept below the 2021 budget cap, which has significantly overshadowed this weekend’s first Japanese Grand Prix since 2019.

Following allegations that Red Bull and Aston Martin were found guilty of exceeding the 2021 budget, Monday’s revelation could result in the largest scandal in the history of the sport. The spectrum of potential penalties is wide, and this could have significant effects on both teams.

To narrow the pack and provide a more level playing field in terms of finances, the budget cap was instituted last season and was a cost that each team in the paddock had to maintain.

The budget of £114 million was set aside for all car-related parts other than the engine. In essence, that funding would have covered any improvements that weren’t tied to the power unit.

Given this, there is a very high likelihood that Red Bull and Aston Martin used parts during the year that were developed using “illegal” money if their budgets for this season were indeed surpassed. If Red Bull, in particular, went over budget, Max Verstappen’s 2021 title will be even more controversial and its validity may be called into question.

The FIA may impose severe fines, resource reductions, or possibly point deductions from 2021 for teams that did go over their allocated budget for 2021. Although unlikely, it does imply that Verstappen’s 2021 Drivers’ Championship may be revoked.

McLaren’s Lando Norris has joined the likes of Sir Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc in calling for a “hefty punishment” to be imposed on any team found to be at fault.

“I think because teams are trying to find and trying to be as efficient as possible with every single thing that they do, any small amount over is, in any part of Formula One, maybe not huge, but depending on what it is, a big advantage,” Norris said.

“Considering there has been such a rule implied to make things a bit more comparable for everyone, give all teams a better chance at fighting, then it’s just an unfair stat within the performance of Formula One.”

“There should be a pretty hefty penalty for whoever does cross the line.”

Due to the front-runners’ inability to spend more, at least legally, McLaren was one of the teams who benefited greatly from the budget cap previous season.

In a season when the Woking-based team made significant strides toward once again becoming a frontrunning team, Daniel Ricciardo famously won the 2021 Italian Grand Prix with Norris in second.

“I think for us, it suited us very well in where we were performing and the budget that we had relative to the bigger teams,” added the Brit. “For those bigger teams it has been about choosing where to place that budget into, whether it’s more performance or aero or design all of this stuff.”

“It’s not just literally a direct performance impact on track, there can be many other ways around it, which you can benefit and the thing is, it doesn’t just benefit you for one single season.”

“If it helps you in that first one to get going, it’s always kind of a knock-on effect the next few years.”

“If it is true, I don’t know what is true or not, but if it is true then yes, it can help someone focus more last year if that’s the case, and then put more people, more development on this year.”

“If you can start a new era off on the right foot, then it’s only going to keep you ahead for a good amount of years until kind of everyone starts to catch up, especially so early on, then it would make a big difference.”

Leave a Reply