The FIA is soon to issue certificates of compliance to teams that operated under last year’s cap.
However, paddock sources say that when the final count is complete, Red Bull Racing and Aston Martin will likely be flagged as having passed the cap.
The Financial Regulation contains a list of potential sanctions for “minor” and “substantial” infringements.
The Aston Martin case would be a minor breach of less than 5%, or about $7 million, above the 2021 limit.
However, in Red Bull’s case, sources suggest it could be a material breach of more than 5%, which would result in a much harsher penalty.
The sanctions available to the FIA even include “exclusion from the championship”.
The situation is seen by many in the paddock as an important test for Ben Sulayem and his team, as overspending last year would have been beneficial not only for the 2021 World Championship, but also for this year, given the schedule. of development for 2022. cars.
Wolff, who discussed the issue with his Ferrari counterpart Mattia Binotto on Friday in Singapore, is adamant the FIA must crack down if a team is found to have overspent.
“Cost caps are probably the single most important regulatory change to keep the playing field level,” Wolff said.
“And to allow teams that don’t have the full budget to catch up and cap spending for top teams. So it’s critically important for a demonstration that those regulations are controlled.
Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
“And I have no reason to believe otherwise. The FIA, especially Mohammad, has shown a pretty strong stance on enforcing all sorts of regulations.
“So I think if we’re talking about something big now, he’ll show the same integrity and leadership that he did before.”
Asked if a potential breach by Red Bull jeopardized last year’s title battle, Wolff declined to elaborate.
“I have no information at this point if they’re in violation, how much they’re in violation. And obviously being in violation in a year means you’re probably in violation a second year, and potentially a third year. .
“And once that’s clarified, I’m sure a lot of discussions will start about what effect that would have. But it’s too early at this stage to comment.”
Red Racing boss Christian Horner has played down any suggestion the team may have overspent.
“I’m certainly not aware of it,” he said when asked by Sky F1 if there had been a breach. “The accounts were all submitted in March, so it’s been a long process with the FIA, and we’re in that process right now.
“So they’re rightly following that process, and I think next week, the middle of next week is when they’ll declare the certificates. So I think our submission was definitely below the cap. And that It’s up to the FIA, obviously, to follow their process, which they are doing now.”