Stefano Domenicali believes Formula 1 teams that are caught breaking the championship’s cost cap rules should face sporting sanctions rather than financial penalties.
Latst year, the FIA decided to fine Red Bull $7 million for breaching the $145 million budget cap enforced for the 2021 season.
Red Bull was also handed a 10 per cent reduction in its wind tunnel development time which prompted controversy as rival teams felt the sanctions were too weak given the potential gains of an overspend.
Red Bull’s dominance in the opening rounds of the 2023 season further fuelled criticism of the penalty with Team Principals who claim that the advantage Red Bull currently holds is a clear demonstration that the sanctions have yielded no downsides.
The FIA is currently assessing each teams’ submissions for the 2022 season, with greater scrutiny placed on any clever workarounds that could provide any sporting advantage, including that ideas from teams’ non-F1 activities are being fed back to grand prix operations.
Following the controversy of the Red Bull fine, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has stated that he would prefer any rules breaches to yield specific sporting sanctions as opposed to financial.
“I would like the penalty to be sporting in case of infringement, it is something we asked for very clearly,” Domenicali told Autosport.
“There are three regulations to be respected: sporting, technical and financial. Any infractions must be punished with sporting measures. You can’t go in other directions.”
F1’s cost cap rules are governed by the FIA’s Financial Regulations which dictate the penalties for such a breach. These include a public reprimand, a deduction of constructor’s and/or driver’s championship points, suspension from grands prix sessions, a reduction in aerodynamic testing or a reduction of the cost cap.
It took until October 2022 for Red Bull’s 2021 rules breach to be settled, however Domenicali is hoping that the FIA’s investigations will be swift.
“Control is in the hands of the FIA,” Domenicali continued. “Personally what I have asked is to anticipate as soon as possible the publication of the investigations made by the staff of the FIA.
“But I say this only because, in this way, it does not give rise to speculation and comments that are not good for anyone.”