F1 fines Williams $25,000 for financial regulations breach

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F1 fines Williams $25,000 for financial regulations breach

Formula 1

F1 fines Williams $25,000 for financial regulations breach

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Williams has become the first team fined for a breach of financial regulations in Formula 1, after being ordered to pay a $25,000 penalty.

The regulations were introduced in 2021, with teams limited to a budget of $140 million this season — down from $145m last year — although some items are excluded. Part of the regulations demands that each team submits its “Full Year Reporting Documentation” for the previous year by a deadline of March 31.

Williams contacted the FIA in advance of that deadline to say it wasn’t going to be able to meet it, and was duly informed on April 12 that it had committed a procedural breach. The FIA has now confirmed an “Accepted Breach Agreement” (ABA) has been entered into between itself and Williams, that includes the five-figure fine.

“Williams admits that it has breached Article 5.1(b) of the Financial Regulations due to its failure to submit, as part of its Full Year Reporting Documentation (in respect of the Full Year Reporting Period ending on December 31, 2021), the complete Full Year Financial Reporting Documentation by the Full Year Reporting Deadline of 31 March 2022, and so has committed a Procedural Breach under Article 8.2(e) of the Financial Regulations.”

The FIA explains it was agreed that:

• Williams had to remediate the Procedural Breach by no later than 19:00 CET on May 31, 2022.
• Williams had to pay a Financial Penalty of USD $25,000 to the FIA within 30 days of the date of the ABA.
• Williams had to bear the costs incurred by the Cost Cap Administration in connection with the preparation of the ABA.

Williams has since met all three of those criteria, remedying the breach before the deadline and paying the fine and associated costs.

Teams can be subjected to much more severe fines and sanctions depending on the scale of their breach. Procedural breaches such as the Williams one is likely to be addressed with a financial penalty, but a minor overspend breach of less than 5% of the cost cap, or a major overspend breach above that, can carry sporting penalties up to and including exclusion from the championship.

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