FIA’s cost cap policing should deter future ‘cover ups’, says Ben Sulayem

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem is hopeful that the way his governing body handled last year’s Formula 1 cost cap breaches will stop any ‘cover ups’ in the future.

FIA’s cost cap policing should deter future ‘cover ups’, says Ben Sulayem

Both Red Bull and Aston Martin were found to have broken the 2021 cost cap during investigations last year, as new spending restrictions in grand prix racing were enforced for the first time.

While Aston Martin’s offence was a procedural breach, Red Bull’s was more controversial as it was found to have overspent by $1.8 million. It was handed a $7 million fine and a 10 percent reduction in aerodynamic testing.

The way that the FIA handled Red Bull’s offence was viewed as a huge test case for the success of the cost cap, and in the end the punishment was viewed by most teams to have been a good compromise.

Reflecting on what happened, and the fact that FIA was so open in its handling of the affair, Sulayem is optimistic that the budget limit rules will remain fully respected by teams.

Speaking to media at the Dakar Rally, he said that the cost cap was a much easier way of levelling out the playing field than constant tweaking of Balance of Performance as happens in other categories.

“It’s not an easy task, to do equivalent of technology or the Balance of Performance,” he said. “The one thing that I can say, and I can see is that it’s working and we have to police it, is the cost cap.

“I was very clear with what happened with Red Bull and Aston Martin. We made sure that nothing was hidden, and we were very transparent.

“We did the team [investigation], did the check up, went through the whole process and we cleared it publicly to everyone. I hope nobody can use the cost cap and try to cover up things. The teams now are very clear that the FIA is there as the governing body. They are there watching, and that is our beauty, that is our responsibility."

Red Bull was handed a $7 million fine and a 10 percent reduction in aerodynamic testing after having overspent by $1.8 million in 2021.

Red Bull was handed a $7 million fine and a 10 percent reduction in aerodynamic testing after having overspent by $1.8 million in 2021.

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Ben Sulayem believes the cost cap is an essential element of the new era of F1, and he hopes it can act to help make smaller teams more competitive.

“When it comes to the cost cap, there is one thing, it has to work,” he said. “Yes, the gap is big, but we just have to push more into it to make sure the other teams come up to the level of the big teams.”

Read Also:

Aston Martin winners

Ben Sulayem believes teams that are investing, like Aston Martin, now have an opportunity to be able to go and win in the future because big spending manufacturers no longer have an automatic advantage.

Asked if he believed a competitor like Aston Martin would be winning within two or three years, he said: “They should. And the way the investment is going, and then having a smart guy like Fernando [Alonso], I believe yes.

“Performance first is important. Winning is very hard. You can talk about Ferrari, but Ferrari did not win. But was it because it is slow? No. It’s maybe the reliability, the management, the whole thing mixed together.

“I think Aston Martin is not short of the finance. It maybe needs a different way of [doing things]. And the changes that Mr Stroll is changing now into it, bringing another driver, bringing a new discipline to his team, new personnel, that is very important also.”

shares
comments
How Russell can make history again in F1 2023
Previous article

How Russell can make history again in F1 2023

Next article

Friday favourite: The F1 champion who taught his team-mate a lasting trick

Friday favourite: The F1 champion who taught his team-mate a lasting trick
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

Formula 1
Jan 27, 2023
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023