Ferrari’s racing director Laurent Mekies says the way Formula 1 and the FIA respond to any budget cap breaches is a “very vital test for the cost cap”.
The whole Formula 1 world is waiting on the FIA to announce the official results of their assessment of the 2021 financial data submitted by all Formula 1 teams.
Amid rumours that Red Bull and Aston Martin breached the budget cap, Ferrari’s Laurent Mekies warns that the way F1 and the FIA decide to deal with any breaches will be a “vital test”.
“It is a very vital test for the cost cap,” Mekies said.
“And, as we said, if we don’t pass that test, it’s probably game over, because the implications are huge.”
Menkies did not want to go into specifics of what the penalties should be.
“Should we talk about penalties now? Probably not. I know it’s probably what the people in the grandstands want to see and we respect that. But in fact we are much earlier in the process than that.
“Probably an even more key aspect of it is, is there a breach? Do we agree on the entity of the breach and that, as a result, confirm the rule everybody is obeying?
“So, I think what is very much crucial now is that the FIA fully enforce rules as they are written now. And then after the penalties are a different matter.”
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However, he says the rules need to be followed as intended.
“At least for us there is no question on what is the interpretation of what we have done because it’s been continuous discussions with the FIA. And I think that’s how the process is intended to be.
“Then after, of course, you have that final check that we are talking about now, that we are all waiting for.
“But in fact, we see very little room for surprises in the way that we have been discussing non-stop in the last two years with them.”
Menkies added that even a ‘minor’ breach of the budget cap is a very big deal.
“If you think about the level of constraints that have [been] imposed on the big teams, then you realise how much lap time there is going to be if you don’t strictly enforce them.
“We’re massively constrained and therefore any million, any leak you allow in the budget cap, is going to turn into a few tenths of seconds on the car,” the Frenchman concluded.