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F1's remaining cost cap loopholes are closed for 2024, says Brown

McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes that the remaining loopholes in Formula 1 cost cap rules are closed off for 2024 after the entire grid got the all-clear this year.

Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing, in the team principals Press Conference

Photo by: Jake Grant / Motorsport Images

The FIA announced after the Italian Grand Prix that all competitors have been issued with their Certificates of Compliance to confirm that they had not busted the cost cap limit in 2022.

This came despite rumours over recent months that some teams were at risk of having been found to be in breach, following in-depth investigations by the FIA to probe their spending.

One area of particular intrigue throughout this year has been the teams' non-F1 activities, amid suspicions that some squads had been exploiting the use of IP outside of the cost cap to help with developments for their grand prix cars.

The FIA became aware of the ability of teams to take advantage of their non-F1 technology divisions and moved to stamp it out earlier this year.

A technical directive issued several months ago, known as TD45, declared that the FIA would not allow any IP to be transferred across from non-F1 work to the grand prix team that was deemed to be outside of the cost cap.

This change of stance was understood to impact a lot of teams' operations, and was welcomed by several competitors who believed it would eradicate any grey area in the cost cap rules.

Brown thinks that the imposition of TD45, which only officially came into force for the start of 2023, will help make things much more of a level playing field for this year's submissions.

"[With] TD45, there was a reason why that was put in place," he said. "And so hopefully that will close any additional loopholes.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23, Alex Albon, Williams FW45, the rest of the field at the start

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23, Alex Albon, Williams FW45, the rest of the field at the start

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

"Everyone passed this year, which is good for Formula 1, but Formula 1 teams try to be as clever as possible. And, hopefully, TD45 is something that will close any loopholes that may have still been existing.

"I think the cost cap was always going to be a bit of a learn-as-you-go."

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff acknowledged that while there had been suspicions of some teams having breached the rules, his squad had to have faith that the FIA had been thorough in its investigations to not find anything nefarious going on.

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"At the end, the result was that all teams got the Certificate of Compliance and, in that respect, that's good to know," he said.

"It seems everybody has been checked thoroughly. And all possible ideas in the background have disappeared because they got the carte blanche, or the ones that were maybe suspected to not have passed it.

"So, I think we just need to get on with the rest now."

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