Today is the highly anticipated ‘Certificate compliance’ day, as the FIA are set to finally award certificates to the teams who kept below the 2021 budget cap.
As reported in the last two weeks, it is believed that Aston Martin and Red Bull will both be deemed guilty of a ‘minor’ breach of the cap, which means both sides have overspent by up to €7 million.
If found guilty, then the FIA will have to decide on what punishment to award them, with the list of potential punishments in the rulebook being concerningly extensive.
Both teams could face a punishment ranging from a hefty fine, to a resource reduction, or even a points deduction for 2021.
Should the latter happen, then newly crowned double World Champion Max Verstappen could be stripped of his 2021 World Championship; however, this is believed to be unlikely.
The budget cap was introduced for the first-time last season to control how much the teams were spending on their cars, excluding the engine.
Essentially, by overspending the limit, both teams will have likely fitted parts to their cars which were developed using ‘illegal’ money.
Many drivers and team principals have called for a heavy penalty to be awarded; however, Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto is “pessimistic” about what the FIA will award.
“If there is an ongoing discussion, we see that there are some unclear points,” Binotto said.
“In the end I think that something will come out, but we will have to see what. Personally I’m a bit pessimistic about the verdict of the federation.”
For the integrity of the FIA and Formula 1 itself, Binotto has demanded that the governing body be “transparent” in their decision and that rules can’t be suddenly changed in light of the breaches.
“Clarity and transparency” are a must by the FIA, but Binotto is less optimistic that this will happen.
“The FIA is contesting, the team is defending,” Binotto added.
“The important thing is that if something has been granted to them that it is transparent, so that everyone can understand the regulations well but also because it was a direct advantage.
“There is no need to change the regulations, even if it was the first year. They were clear from the beginning and were always discussed with constant exchanges with the FIA.
“Clarity and transparency will be important but it could all melt like snow in the sun.”