Williams fined for financial regulations breach


In failing to file its 2021 financial reports on time, Williams has become the first team to be fined for breaching the new regulations.

"On 12 April 2022, the Cost Cap Administration notified Williams that it had committed a Procedural Breach," said the FIA in a statement today. "On 15 April 2022, Williams responded to the notification accepting that it had committed a Procedural Breach and explaining the steps that it had taken to seek to avert that breach.

Having considered Williams' explanation and given in particular that the Procedural Breach was voluntarily disclosed by Williams in advance of the Full Year Reporting Deadline of 31 March 2022 and Williams has been fully cooperative in seeking to remedy the breach, the Cost Cap Administration deemed it appropriate to offer Williams an ABA resolving the breach on the terms set out below. That offer was accepted by Williams.

Williams admits that it has breached Article 5.1(b) of the Financial Regulations due to its failure to submit, as part of its Full Year Reporting Documentation (in respect of the Full Year Reporting Period ending on 31 December 2021), the complete Full Year Financial Reporting Documentation by the Full Year Reporting Deadline of 31 March 2022, and so has committed a Procedural Breach under Article 8.2(e) of the Financial Regulations. On this basis, it was agreed that:

• Williams had to remediate the Procedural Breach by no later than 19:00 CET on 31 May 2022.

• Williams had to pay a Financial Penalty of $25,000 to the FIA within 30 days of the date of the ABA.

• Williams had to bear the costs incurred by the Cost Cap Administration in connection with the preparation of the ABA.

The decision of the Cost Cap Administration to enter into the abovementioned ABA constitutes its final decision resolving the matter and is not subject to appeal. Non-compliance by Williams with any terms of the ABA will result in a further Procedural Breach under Articles 6.30 and 8.2(f) of the Financial Regulations and automatic referral to the Cost Cap Adjudication Panel.

The Cost Cap Administration confirms that, as of the date hereof, Williams has within the specified deadline remediated the Procedural Breach, paid the Financial Penalty, and bore the costs incurred by the Cost Cap Administration in connection with the preparation of the ABA."

The fine comes at a time a number of teams are calling on the FIA to raise the 2022 cap - currently set at $140m - as a result of various factors, including the cost of living crisis, all of which suggests that their initial budgeting forecasts fell well short of the mark.

While Christian Horner has warned that the major teams are likely to reach the limit long before the end of the season, Guenther Steiner has admitted that his team cannot come close to the cap, far less stand any chance of breaching it, while Alfa Romeo's Frederic Vasseur has advised the bigger teams to switch off their windtunnels and ease up on the updates.

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Published: 07/06/2022
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