Teams warned on 'stockpiling'


With the budget cap due to be introduced next year, and teams likely to seek out various forms of creative accounting in a bid to circumvent the rules, the FIA has warned them not to attempt stockpiling.

From 2021, the world championship might not be decided on track but on the balance sheet as the much-anticipated $145m budget cap comes into effect.

There is already fierce speculation as to how the teams will seek to get around the strict limits, and just like their technical counterparts, the various financial departments will be pushing the envelope wherever possible.

One potential avenue is stockpiling, whereby, with the rules essentially unchanged next season, teams start buying in new components now before the budget comes into effect. That way, when the budget rules comes into force the required components are already sitting on the shelf, paid for, and therefore not part of the (limited) 2021 budget.

The monies saved can then be used as the teams prepare for the raft of new regulations due to be introduced as part of the sport's overhaul in 2022.

As ever, however, the FIA is on the case.

"There's been conversations around people stockpiling this year, with no budget cap, for next year, to allow you to spend next year's money more on 2022," admitted Zak Brown.

"The FIA has seen that coming in and is on top of it," he continued, "and is putting regulations in place as to restrict your ability to spend a lot of money now for 2021, to allow you to spend 2021 for a head start on 2022.

"I'm not aware of anyone doing it," he added, "and people will do it to the fullest extent they're allowed to. But again, because the FIA is on top of it, I don't think someone's going to be able to do it outside the boundaries of the rules."

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Published: 13/09/2020
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