Formula One has announced that all ten teams have been awarded compliance certificates after sticking to last season’s budget cap.
Despite murmurings in the paddock that some teams might have breached the US$135 million limit, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) said on Tuesday that no team was found in breach.
Last year, Red Bull were fined UK£6 million (US$7.53 million) for breaking Formula One’s financial rules after they overspent by UK£1.86 million (US$2.33 million) in 2021 – the season in which they carried Max Verstappen to his controversial championship win against Lewis Hamilton.
An FIA statement read: ‘The FIA confirms that its Cost Cap Administration has now completed the review of the reporting documentation submitted by each competitor that participated in the 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship in respect of the 2022 full year reporting period ending on 31st December 2022.
‘The FIA Cost Cap Administration has issued certificates of compliance to all of the ten competitors. The review has been an intensive and thorough process, beginning with a detailed analysis of the documentation submitted by the competitors.’
The FIA also revealed it found no wrong-doing with teams possibly hiding costs through organisations outside of Formula One.
The statement continued: ‘Additionally, there has been an extensive check of any non-F1 activities undertaken by the teams, which comprised multiple onsite visits to team facilities and careful auditing procedures to assess compliance with the financial regulations.
‘The FIA Cost Cap Administration notes that all competitors acted at all times in a spirit of good faith and cooperation throughout the process.’
The period has now elapsed for any teams to appeal the FIA’s verdict. It is understood the governing body had a complaints process in place in addition to a whistleblower service, and neither were used.
Last year, the FIA concluded that Red Bull “did not act in bad faith, dishonestly or in a fraudulent manner” when it broke the UK£114 million (US$143 million) budget cap.
The world champions entered into a so-called Accepted Breach Agreement (ABA) with Formula One’s governing body. In addition to their fine, Red Bull also had their wind tunnel time reduced by ten per cent.
Aston Martin were also fined US$450,000 for a procedural breach “because it inaccurately excluded and/or adjusted costs in the calculation of its relevant costs”.