'No way' Ferrari can stay below budget cap – Binotto

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Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto is adamant there is "no way" the Italian outfit's expenditures this season can remain below F1's mandatory $140 million budget cap.

Binotto's assertion follows similar comments expressed recently by Red Bull team boss Christian Horner and McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl.

Rampant inflation, higher energy and freight costs and global supply chain issues have put a significant financial burden on all teams this season.

But while F1's smaller outfits are operating under the sport's $140m threshold, the bigger teams are already nearing the cost cap and are forecasting exceeding the latter.

A five percent or less overrun would constitute "a minor breach of the rules" that could potentially warrant a public reprimand by the FIA, but also a possible loss of constructors' or drivers' points or even an exclusion from events.

Teams are currently in the dark regarding how exceeding any eventual budget cap will be sanctioned by the FIA, while F1's smaller outfits, although representative of a minority, have the ability to block an in-season rule change that would allow for a cost cap increase.


"I think that there will be no way for us to stay below, so I am pretty sure at some stage we will go over," said Binotto in Monaco on Saturday.

"In the regulations, there is a threshold which is 5%, and if you do not exceed the 5% on top of what's the budget cap threshold, it could be considered a minor breach.

"How will they decide on that in terms of penalty, I have no idea.

"I don't think there is any way for us and for many teams to stay within, and even laying off people I don't think that's the right choice.

"It's already summertime, and the benefit is not sufficient to cope with the excessive prices and cost. So what will be the implications?

"What will be the most important is many teams will breach it and I think that will be simply bad for the financial regulations.

"If we are breaching the financial regulations, then I think we will start debating if the financial regulations are working, and it will put everything back in discussion."


Horner, Binotto's Red Bull counterpart, is urging the FIA to take action to avoid certain teams exceeding the cost cap limit, as such a situation could lead to smaller outfits challenging the outcome of the championship in the FIA Court of Appeal.

"You’ve got to look at the bigger picture," said Horner. "Is this a force majeure event? I would say an act of war [by Russia in Ukraine] that is driving up the inflation would be classified as a force majeure event.

"What we really want is clarity, because none of us want to end up at the end of the season all rushing to courts of appeal in Paris saying ‘he spent a million dollars more than we did’ and so on.

"So I think we’ve just got to come to a sensible threshold."

Arguing the other side and defending the interests of F1's smaller outfits, Alfa Romeo team boss Fred Vasseur says those teams at risk of exceeding the cost cap should simply rein in their costs.

"If we have some increase on energy or freight the best solution is to switch off the wind tunnel to stop to bring updates every single weekend," said a pragmatic and blunt Vasseur.

"We have this situation and sooner or later we have to stop the development of the car because we will be at the limit of our budget and I think everybody can do the same."

Alpine's Otmar Szafnauer also opposes lifting the budget threshold.

"Most teams do their budgets in November to December timeframe for the following year and we are no different," he said.

"At that time inflation was already at seven-plus percent. RPI [retail price index] in England was 7.1, 7.2%.

"We took that into consideration when we did our budgets and laid out all the development work that we were going to do. And we’re still within it even though it was a little bit more expensive than we thought.

"We’re still under the cap and we plan to be there at the end of the year. We’ll adjust the development accordingly just like Fred said.

"So I think it can be done. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. We set a budget cap and we should stick to it."

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