FIA’s Robert Reid on “wild speculation” surrounding cost cap analysis

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

FIA’s vice president for sport Robert Reid says “Monday will come and go, and I’m sure we’ll quickly move on to the next year’s analysis”.

The FIA has delayed the official results of their assessment of the 2021 financial data submitted by all Formula 1 teams until Monday.

With Red Bull rumoured to have breached the 2021 budget cap, there has been a lot of speculation running rampant across the F1 media and the fanbase.

At the Japanese Grand Prix, talked to FIA’s vice president for sport Robert Reid about the situation.

“I think the unfortunate thing for me is there’s been so much speculation, and wild speculation,” Reid said.

“And that’s caused situations where potentially there’s even some reputational damage now, which is unfortunate. There’s been too much talk.

“Monday will come and go, and I’m sure we’ll quickly move on to the next year’s analysis. And we’ll see what comes.

“Personally, I actually don’t know the figures. It is a process, we do have a department who are doing that, they will come with various steps in the process.

“If there were to be any breaches, I think everybody knows what those breaches would be classified as in terms of procedural, minor and material.

“The regulations are there for everyone to read. We’ve already had the Williams situation [who made a ‘procedural’ breach in June] so everybody understands what would happen or what the next steps might be, certainly in terms of procedural breach.

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“I don’t know if there will be some procedural breaches, or there might even be some overspends. So let’s wait and see and deal with it at that time.”

Reid then said that once the results come out, it is important that they show that the rules work as intended.

“They need to work, There’s a process. It’s early doors in terms of the regulations. You look at how many changes there are to F1 technical and sporting regulations on an ongoing basis. I think anything new needs to be tweaked.

“Potentially there are some unintended or unrealised consequences in the way things are written. It’s the old classic. If you push the balloon down here, it’s going to pop up somewhere else that you’re maybe not aware of.

“We had a trial run in 2020, so this is our first proper one. We still have situations from a sporting perspective that people say, ‘Oh, we’ve never seen that before.’

“Now, how long has the sport been going on? So I’m sure we’re going to see the same, not just for the ’21 analysis, but ongoing in financial regulations as we go forward.

“It’s a complicated set of regulations, so a complicated process to try and achieve. But I think everyone agrees it’s absolutely essential for the future of the sport that we have some control on the on the costs.”

Reid added he has full confidence in the FIA’s Head of Financial Regulations Federico Lodi (formerly Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Chief Financial Officer) to successfully complete the process.

“We’ve got to trust Federico. I mean, that’s his job. He’s in charge of that, he’s done all the analysis, it’s his department that’s created everything.

“Having said that, the teams had a huge part to play in creating the regulations. And we’re all working together because there is a common objective that we’ve to got it right.”

As for the delay in the cost cap analysis results, which were originally expected in June, then last Wednesday, before being moved to Monday, Reid said:

“We certainly hope in years to come that it happens quicker than that has happened, now that we’ve walked through.

“But the clarifications that happen on the ’21 results are obviously valid for ’22 and ’23.

“By the law of physics, we’re kind of narrowing down where we can interrogate. There’s a huge chunk of it that is absolutely clear, and clearly within the cost cap, or clearly outside the cost cap.

“And the grey area is hopefully getting smaller and smaller as we go forward,” he concluded.

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