F1 introduced a new $145 million budget cap for the 2021 season, policed by an all-new set of financial regulations that worked alongside the sporting and technical rulebooks.
The financial regulations state the sanctions for breaches can include financial penalties, minor sporting penalties, material sporting penalties or enhanced monitoring.
But it has emerged that three teams voted against the implementation of sporting penalties for breaches of the financial regulations at the most recent F1 Commission meeting.
Autosport understands that these three teams were Red Bull, Ferrari and AlphaTauri.
On Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix, Mercedes team principal Wolff said that there were “topics that need to be cleared up and specified and précised” relating to the budget cap during its first year of operation.
Asked on Saturday by Autosport what these topics were, Wolff explained that they related to the penalties applied for any breaches.
“A large group of teams, seven out of 10 teams, voted in favour of introducing sporting penalties for financial cap infringements,” Wolff said.
“At the moment, there are only financial penalties. And three teams voted against it, saying we’ll take a financial penalty, but we don’t want to have a sporting penalty.
“That’s a bit odd. But I think the compromise that we have achieved now is to understand why that is, and which regulations do they feel are incomplete or uncomfortable.
“The target that we have set ourselves is a couple of weeks to sort it out, and then everybody understands that financial cap regulation infringements should be seen just the same as technical infringements in terms of sporting penalties.”
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12
Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
The implementation of a budget cap for 2021 was planned back in 2019, but the figure was reduced from $175 million per year to $145 million in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
The figure is set to reduce to $140 million next year and then again to $135 million by 2023.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said on Friday that the penalties for breaches were “already clear”.
“There is discussion currently about procedures, which because it’s a new set of regulations, they are all being tidied up,” Horner said.
“I hope within a month, everything will be clear in terms of procedures.”