Domenicali advocates for sporting sanctions for cost cap cheats

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F1 boss Stefano Domenicali would like to see sporting penalties applied to cost cap breaches, rather than financial sanctions.

Formula 1’s mandatory budget cap, which was introduced in 2021 and which is set at $135 million this season, is an essential part of Grand Prix racing’s governance as part of its efforts to reduce costs and level the playing field among competitors.

Last year, Red Bull was caught out by the stringent financial rules, with the Milton Keynes-based outfit found guilty of over-spending by $1.8 million during Max Verstappen’s first championship year in 2021.

Although the breach was qualified as minor by the FIA, Red Bull were fined a hefty $7 million and hit with a reduction of 10% of their wind-tunnel and CFD development time.

Rival team bosses believed the punishment did not fit the crime however, and Red Bull’s current crushing domination of the 2023 season argues in favour of that view.

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Domenicali would like to see strict sporting penalties levied upon those who overspend, with sanctions ranging from a mere reprimand to a banning from in-season sessions to a reduced cost cap threshold.

"I would like the penalty to be sporting in case of infringement, it is something we asked for very clearly,” Domenicali told

"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."

Last year, the results of the FIA’s special unit which audited the teams’ 2021 accounts were made public in October.

The governing body vowed to work faster this year, and Domenicali hopes this will pan out as expected, if only to avoid the rumor mill spinning in the paddock unnecessary speculation on those who potentially in breach of the rules.

"Control is in the hands of the FIA," said the Italian. "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."

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