FIA slaps Williams with hefty fine ahead of 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Williams have been punished for failing to submit their 2021 expenditure report by the 31 March deadline.

The FIA have fined Williams for breaching the 2021 financial regulations after they failed to submit the required documents in time.

One of the interesting facets of last season was the regulations which, having been perceived would be identical to 2020 owing to the pandemic, actually changed a lot more than people thought.

There were different aerodynamic and chassis regulations introduced, including a reduction of diffuser fences, a shortening of rear brake duct winglets to help even up the field, and new floors that necessitated slightly different aerodynamic concepts to help efficiency on the straights and in the corners.

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Another alteration was the budget. The governing body implemented a stricter spending limit on the teams for 2021, capping their expenditure to $145 million.

This was to be shared out between any and all work done to develop, repair or work on the car in any way.

Naturally, some perhaps devious minds were anticipated by the FIA, so they pre-emptively ensured that they had experts in place to monitor the team’s spending.

One of the ways in which they check that everyone is complying with the rules is to ask for paperwork to be submitted, detailing everyone’s expenditure, and this “Full Year Financial Reporting Documentation” has to be done by a certain date.

In this instance, the paperwork for the money spent during the 2021 season was to be submitted by 31 March this year, but Williams failed to do this.

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The British side readily accepted the fact that they had failed to meet the deadline for the paperwork to be submitted, and they told the FIA that they had done their best to comply.

As a result, an “Accepted Breach Agreement” [ABA] was reached, so the punishment for the Grove-based outfit is lesser than it might initially have been.

It is still a hefty fine at $25,000 though, but the FIA have confirmed that the documentation for last year has been filed and the fine has been paid in full.

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While there was a confirmed breach, this does not mean to say that Williams spent more than the permitted amount last year; they merely failed to report the money they had spent, but it extracted a heavy toll on the team.

The cap for the 2022 season has been tightened further to $140 million, although Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari have all asked for it to be raised to accommodate the heightened cost of living.