Formula 1 Racing

F1 cost cap breach more serious than cheating on track

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer:

Other team bosses have agreed that any such breaches should trigger appropriate punishments from the FIA.

Although it has yet to be confirmed both Red Bull Racing and Aston Martin are understood to have overspent last season, with the former believed to be a potentially more serious case of a “material breach”.

The penalty for such a spend – in excess of 5% of the 2021 cap limit – could extend to exclusion of the team from last year’s World Championship.

Capito stressed that a breach in 2021 would also have fed into development for this season’s cars.

“I think there’s no way around not staying in the cost cap,” the German told

“And if somebody doesn’t stay in the cost cap, it has to have serious implications. Because not having stayed in the cost cap last year is most likely development for this year’s car.

“For this year’s cars, you have an impact for the whole season. So it has to have a sportive impact on this season. It doesn’t make sense to have any financial penalty on top that you spent the money.

“That would be completely contradictory to work to the rules. And for me, it’s a more serious breach than cheating on the car on the track.”

Capito also stressed that a retrospective punishment, for example exclusion from last year’s championship, wouldn’t necessarily affect performance gains earned through development for 2022.

“I don’t think it should be for last year, because most of the more impact is on this year. I think it would be completely wrong to do it on last year, because the books are written, everything is done, the PR is done, the marketing is done.

“So if that would be the case, then I think nobody would stay in the cost cap anymore, because it has an impact on the past. It has to have an impact on the actual year. And that’s why I think the FIA, if there is a case, they have to be quite fast.

“I don’t have any other choice, they have to react because the majority of the teams was in the cost cap. And they can’t be penalised for being in the cost cap. So I’m pretty sure they will react appropriately.”

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer: “I think the FIA have to appropriately punish those who have gone over. You have to first understand how big the breach was, and then what an appropriate penalty is.”

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

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