Sky says F1 teams’ budget cap breach complaints “may have all come too late”

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Sky Sports’ Craig Slater reports an F1 team cannot “formally protest another team’s penalty”, and formal complaints on the 2021 cost cap had to be “raised between January 1-April 30”.

The Formula 1 world is eagerly awaiting more details on Red Bull’s 2021 cost cap breach and subsequent penalty, but the FIA is yet to release any further information.

In the meantime many F1 personalities have expressed their opinion on the situation, and some of them have been very open about what they expect the FIA to do, including McLaren CEO Zak Brown who sent a letter to FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem demanding harsh penalties for budget cap breaches.

However, Sky Sports’ Craig Slater writes that teams will not be able to protest a penalty that was handed to another team, and any general complaints about the governing of the budget cap had to be raised between January 1 and April 30.

Interestingly, the announcement that Red Bull has breached the budget cap came out on October 10.

“There are no means by which teams can formally protest another team’s penalty if they deem it insufficient,” Slater wrote in his column.

“That last aspect could be significant. F1 rules are to a considerable extent policed by the vigilance of rival competitors.

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“Teams seek FIA clarifications of designs and practices and resultant technical directives shut down loopholes or potential rules breaches.

“The recent cost cap queries, the questioning of update spending by Mercedes, Ferrari’s concerns and now Brown’s intervention have felt akin to the public highlighting of controversial bodywork or engineering – to provoke FIA intervention.

“However, in terms of 2021’s financial activities, it may have all come too late. The cost cap has its own complaints procedures within the sporting regulations and the complaints window for 2021 shut in April.

“Formal complaints can only be raised between January 1-April 30 of the year after the relevant submission.

“Significantly, no formal complaints procedure was activated by any F1 Teams within that period,” Slater concluded.

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