Ferrari team principal Matti Binotto has again urged the FIA to reconsider the budget cap for the 2022 season, affirming that it has resulted in employees being let go.
The revised $140 million cap this year, which is reserved for development, damage repair, transport of freight and man hours working on the cars – among other facets – has led Binotto, Red Bull boss Christian Horner, and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff to express their concern.
This is due to inflation and the subsequent rise in the cost of living, and Wolff confirmed that the Silver Arrows have had to make some “painful” redundancies as a result of the energy bills in Brackley, which have risen by £4 million.
The purpose of the cap was to create a more level playing field, so that the big hitters cannot simply throw money at their car at every race to make it go faster; they need to be more measured.
As a result, Binotto does not believe Ferrari will be able to introduce their next batch of changes until the British Grand Prix next month.
“I think the budget cap is dictating somehow what we can do,” he said ahead of the Monaco GP.
“We need to certainly have a close look at it and not wasting our money, because we cannot simply do that.
“I think we’ll bring upgrades when we have got a significant one. It will not come every single race that we will be bringing pieces.
“On top of that, I think you can look at the next races. We’ve got Monaco where maybe you’re bringing a new front suspension for steering angle, and then later on, we’ve got Baku which is a city circuit.
“So I think it will be around the UK where maybe some developments will arrive.”
The regulations dictate that the teams are allowed to go over the budget by $7 million, but the Italian is concerned that the FIA have not quite thought through what happens if the teams go over $140 million, particularly given that some teams may be forced to let employees go.
“I think that there will be no way for us simply to, to stay below so, I’m pretty sure that at some stage we will go over,” said Binotto.
“In the regulations, there is a threshold, which is a 5%.
“If you do not exceed the 5%, on the top of what’s the budget cap threshold, it will be considered a minor breach. And what’s a minor breach in case of force majeure? What will the stewards and the FIA decide on that, in terms of penalties?
“No idea – but I don’t think there is any way for us – and for many teams – simply to stay within, and even laying off people, I don’t think that’s a good and right choice.”
Ferrari have won two races in 2022 through Charles Leclerc, who is second in the Drivers’ Championship, nine points behind Max Verstappen.
Another torrid afternoon last weekend in Monaco saw Leclerc finish fourth having started on pole due to a poor strategy in changing conditions, while Sergio Perez beat Carlos Sainz to victory.
The Mexican’s win and Verstappen’s P3 puts Red Bull 36 points clear of the Scuderia heading into this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku.