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FIA delays results of financial analysis until Monday

NEWS STORY
06/10/2022

Citing a "long and complex process" the FIA will not now release details of its analysis of the teams' financial submissions until Monday 10 October.

As the sport held its breath, with the outcome of the 2021 world championship seemingly at stake, the FIA has once again scored a spectacular own goal.

Days after it was claimed that Red Bull and Aston Martin had exceeded the budget cap leading to fears that the result of its investigation could turn the sport on its head, the sport's governing body has admitted that it needs more time to analyse the data.

“The analysis of financial submissions is a long and complex process that is ongoing and will be concluded to enable the release of the Certificates on Monday, 10 October," it said in a brief statement.

With Red Bull having submitted its financial submission in March one wonders why the FIA needs another 5 days to finalise its findings.

The FIA's fill statement reads as follows:

"The FIA informs that the conclusion of the analysis of the 2021 financial submissions of the Formula 1 teams and the subsequent release of Certificates of Compliance to the Financial Regulations will not take place on Wednesday, 5 October. The analysis of financial submissions is a long and complex process that is ongoing and will be concluded to enable the release of the Certificates on Monday, 10 October.

"The Financial Regulations were agreed unanimously by all Competitors, who have worked positively and collaboratively with the FIA Cost Cap Administration throughout this first year under the Financial Regulations.

"As previously communicated, there has been significant and unsubstantiated speculation and conjecture in relation to this matter, and the FIA reiterates that until it is finalised, no further information will be provided. The FIA also reiterates that any suggestion that FIA personnel have disclosed sensitive information is equally baseless."

The delay will do nothing to assuage the feelings of those who have lost faith in the FIA, with many having doubted its ability to police the budget cap in the first place.

Time and time again this season we have seen the FIA drag its heels and only last Sunday it took almost three hours to confirm that Sergio Perez' race win stood... then again, when the 2021 world championship titles could yet be turned on their heads...

Despite fans frustration, and the obvious mud-slinging that will continue this weekend, at least we can draw comfort from the fact that it will make a great cliff-hanger for at least one episode of Drive to Survive.

In a sport still recovering from the shambles that was Abu Dhabi, and a governing body already tarnished by the "agreement" with Ferrari following the investigation into its 2019 engine, this does nothing to restore faith. Indeed, it only adds to the feeling that there is something rotten at the very heart of the sport.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Editor, 10/10/2022 14:52

"@ Stoney

Announcement due at 16:00 Monday

At 15:52 the FIA website crashes

"

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2. Posted by stoney, 10/10/2022 14:51

"Still no word from the FIA?"

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3. Posted by ARL, 09/10/2022 20:29

"@kenji "Self righteous grandstanding is just another form of idealogical narcissism".

I thought that it was the fundamental algorithm model driving the businesses of the major social media companies.

Come to think of it, when was the last time Twitter or Facebook paid any meaningful tax. Perhaps they could teach F1 teams a trick or two.

Maybe they already have...."

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4. Posted by ancient70!, 08/10/2022 6:10

"My take on this angst over overspending is that it will boil down to two things: 1, has the mother company developed, acquired facilities or products for other projects but which could be useful for the F1 team? In this case can the team make use of these facilities/products at low or no cost? I suppose its a bit of moral question, but basically I do not see why not.2: If on the other hand the mother company has developed facilities/products specifically for the use of the F1 team, these costs should be fully covered by the cost cap. The tricky bit is how do you prove these things to everybody's satisfaction. Could become very interesting!"

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5. Posted by Pavlo, 07/10/2022 7:47

"@ZJAY - here are some problems:
1. What if RB agrees and just overspends same next seasons, winning 3-4 championships till they have budget set to ridiculous 0. Then the only option is to quit for a year... or rebrand?
2. What if Aston Martin overspends double the budget next year - they don't care about the points now, but may improve for the over-the-next.
3. All races this season lose their meaning - this is just a bit of entertainment, but the result we will read in the newspapers next year.

For future I really see only one feasible option - find out the way of realtime check of the accounts."

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6. Posted by ZJAY, 07/10/2022 2:07

"Here are good options for the FIA

1. As they did to Ferrari engine breach in 2019 minus the secret deal. For example reduce their next year cap by double or triple the breach amount and taper it slowly back over two seasons or more.
2. Remove points from previous year points double the percentage of the percentage of the cap breach in both championship without adjusting anyone else prize money.
3. Make them pay the prize money back if 2 above make them loose position in the end of year ranking.

My opinion FIA will not do anything significant setting the stage for he cap to fail. "

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7. Posted by kenji, 06/10/2022 23:44

"@ Ricardo_sanchez. It's early days ATM. I would expect that RB, like AM, would be waiting to see what the FIA do and precisely what the FIA will announce. It's my basic understanding that RB compled witht the timetable and submitted their figures [ audited ] back in March. The accounting treatment would have been established much earlier by RB's auditors [ one of the big three ] and those proposed by the FIA's advisors, namely Deloittes I believe. I doubt very much if RB would submit figures that showed them exceeding the FIA's limits! I would guess that RB will keep their powder dry and wait to see just what the FIA do...I would, under the same circumstances. I would also suspect that RB already have legal opinions vis a vis the 'defamation' statements made primarily by Mercedes/Wolff. If RB are judged to be in breach then the FIA will levy whatever penalty they see as adequate as that is what the rules state. The only question would be the severity of the penalty. I expect 'Whiners Inc.' to be in full voice no matter what eventually happens. Self righteous grandstanding is just another form of idealogical narcissism."

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8. Posted by Ricardo_sanchez, 06/10/2022 17:59

"@kenji has Red Bull actually sued for defamation or even issued any cease & desist notices? If not, why not, I wonder? "

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9. Posted by ChickenFarmerF1, 06/10/2022 16:58

"@Max Nobel - at this point there is no good outcome.

Financial penalty? Teams that can raise the funds from sponsors will just pay the fine as a cost of doing business and the "cost cap" becomes utterly meaningless. The "haves" will still spend more than the "have nots" and the playing field will be as tilted as ever.

Disqualification/points removal? While more "just" I suppose as it is actual teeth to the regulations, when applied this late just smacks of manipulation, every bit as much (if less immediate) as Masi's decision to "go motor racing" for the last lap at Abu Dhabi. Even if they only apply it to the races after they passed the cost cap.

At this point I think the only thing the FIA can realistically/fairly do is fine RBR and AM (assuming they're guilty). But then they need to implement some means of tracking team spending in more or less real time, and apply sanctions that have real teeth immediately. Within a couple weeks is probably sufficiently immediate. And the sanctions need to be along the lines of disqualification from the previous race and banning from any remaining races in the season. If it's only at the final race that they exceed the cap, and it's by a small enough amount, then only a fine might be called for."

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10. Posted by Chester, 06/10/2022 12:10

"@ Pavlo. Accounting for cost can be quite difficult. Just ask Boeing about cross-subsidization between their well-funded USA government military programs and their commercial aircraft programs(They won't say a a word. But it exists.) The accounting of costs is not clear cut at all. Lots of ways to cheat- especially if you are a road car manufacturer.
"

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11. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 06/10/2022 11:33

"Red Bull accountants against FIA accountants, that bill alone would take you over any budget cap."

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12. Posted by Pavlo, 06/10/2022 10:53

"@Max Noble - totally agree, especially with "*regardless* point".

I think we should differentiate between suddenly found *previously unknown exceptional* facts and *routine checks*.
Yes, if we suddenly find out that crash was deliberate (or Lance cheated), that we couldn't know before, it's bad, but understandingly there will be a reaction. And it's exceptional.

Problem here, we are not talking about exceptions, this is *routine* financial check based on the information provided in due time. Same as weighing the drivers, scrutineering or review of the penalties.
If someone tells you, that Hamilton vs. Verstappen crash (any of 2021) would be investigated in a year after championship ends, you would laugh. It's clearly unacceptable.

I understand that regular financial checks *usually* take years. But review of me speeding on the highway also can take months. Sport is different and must apply faster procedures.
Now FIA has only two good options:
1. agree that financial breach penalized only financially. This means rich team can overspend, it's just more expensive, and the only problem is that FIA forgot to tell it to MB last year.
2. deduct points, but then deliver a "quick check" procedure to know the result right after crossing of the finish line of the last race. Still possible, create FIA bank and all transactions go only via accounts in this bank with full online transparency."

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13. Posted by Mike23, 06/10/2022 7:56

"THis weekend is the Jananese GP. Honda are the title sponsors and it takes place at a Honda owned circuit. Honda also supply engines to Red Bull. If Red Bull have broken the rules and the FIA were to sanction them before the GP it would be very embarrassing for all at Honda. Knowing the Japanese need to save face, could the delay be to placate Honda? I say this on the back of the apparent strengthening of their links with Red Bull, and the possibility that by 2026 Honda might not quit F1."

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14. Posted by Max Noble, 06/10/2022 5:07

"@ChickenFarmerF1, @Tardis - Witness the Lance Armstrong Tour De France disaster (for all). As Lance points out (no defence) 23 other podium finishers during his time at the top were also all done for doping. Yes, they were all doing it. They just threw the book particularly hard at Lance.

Result? For those years, officially, there is no winner of the Tour! It was too much of a mess to go back and start disqualifying all the other cheats, and then bumping up others… It would have been a nightmare of their own making. So “There was no winner. Lance is removed from the history books, and all other standings, stand.”

Terrible outcome for the sport.

So to F1 - Michael and Daemon Hill; Senna, and Prost; ice/gravel in cars to pass scrutineers; Toyota air intakes on WRC cars; Software traction control… the Ferrari 2019 engine… At some point one has to call a statute of limitations, and confirm a result stands, *regardless* of future discoveries.

James Hunt getting his win back three months later is the most delayed result I can think of now, there might have been longer. But is not, say, a two week appeals window plenty of time?

If the FIA overturn last year’s result, when in the season to they apply it? Say a team was within the cost cap until the last four races… ok. Amend the results of the last four races? Let the results stand and deduct total season points? Deduct the points won after the cost cap was breached? Then, and Toto does have a point, what do you do about the starting-point advantage for this season?

Anything other than financial penalties for financial misdemeanour will result in chaos. The FIA did not think this through. As the old saying goes; just because you can measure and try to control something, it does not mean that you should…"

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15. Posted by Chester, 06/10/2022 1:08

"And FIA rules still block Colton Herta from F1. Rules? What rules? Yes, only the ones that keep F1 insular. And retroactively reversing 2021 championship? What idiocy. "

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