Domenicali ‘more than nervous’ over 2022 cost cap results

Stefano Domenicali (ITA) Formula One President and CEO. 03.03.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, Practice Day -, EMail: © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images
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F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali admits he’s “more than nervous” to find out the results of the FIA’s cost cap audit for 2022, with the credibility of the sport at stake.

Teams were due to submit their accounts by March 31, with F1’s governing body Cost Cap Administration now digging into the numbers to verify their compliance.

F1’s budget cap dropped from $145 million in 2021 – the first year of the new financial regulations – to $140 million last year, although a 3% indexation was added to account for an unexpected spike in global inflation.

Last November, it came to light that Red Bull had breached the cap by $2.2 million, which led to a $7 million monetary penalty and to a 10% reduction of the team’s aerodynamic development hours.

While Red Bull itself is confident that it did not overspend last year, the team has speculated that as many as six of its rivals may have breached their mandatory 2022 limit, mainly due to more spiraling inflation.

“A danger for 2022 is that there could be six teams in breach of the cap,” said Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.

“Energy prices have been exponential, but thankfully we’ve been protected from that.

“But there is that chance that several teams, many of which have stated it during F1 commission meetings, will break the cap this year.”

The fate of the teams’ accounts is now in the hands of the FIA’s financial analysts, but Domenicali admits he is nervous.

“I’m more than nervous,” he told Sky Sports. “I’m pretty sure that everyone understands now what the effect is if there is a breach, and I totally agree that the focus on this will actually be very big.

“I think that is a point of attention mainly for the credibility and to check if everyone is respecting that rule, but [it] has to be done earlier than later.”

Last year, the results of the FIA’s audit were communicated towards the end of the season, a tardy reveal that was justifiably criticized by the teams.

Domenicali says the FIA is aware of the need to release the teams' certifications much earlier this time.

“We are discussing and this is on the FIA’s side to make sure that the control and the certification will be done much earlier because the effect, if some teams will be over it, has to be done in a proper way in as short a time as possible to be more credible,” said the Italian.

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