The FIA has handled the cost cap process so impressively that it’s tough for teams to lean on uncertainty as a defense for breaching regulations, according to McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown.
On Monday, the governing body announced the findings of its review of the 2021 financial submissions from teams, with Red Bull named as having committed a minor overspend breach of the regulations and Aston Martin cited for a procedural breach but below the cap. Red Bull issued a statement that it noted the findings “with surprise and disappointment” having felt it was within the cap with its submission, and while awaiting the next steps Brown backs the FIA’s work so far.
“I think it’s now all about how (the FIA) handle it moving forward,” Brown told RACER. “Everyone’s kind of like, ‘Well, they haven’t had transparency’ but it’s not over yet. I think we can’t judge them on their transparency… It was good that they said, ‘It’s not coming on Wednesday, it’s going to come on Monday’ — they were clear.
“Transparency doesn’t necessarily mean, ‘I give you all the answers tomorrow,’ it’s, ‘I give you visibility of what’s coming.’ I think we’re not done yet, so I think it’s too early to judge them until we see the final results.”
Brown says the way the FIA allowed teams to seek clarifications on any cost cap matters places the onus on them to comply rather than be able to blame a breach on uncertainty or an overspend in departments not related to performance.
“Bottom line is we had a dry run for a year,” he noted. “The FIA have been unbelievably collaborative, communicative and clear. And if anything was unclear then the obligation was on the teams to ask.
“The FIA has done a really good job on the cost cap, and you can go to them and ask them anything: ‘Hey, is this included? Is this not included?’ And when you go over budget you go over budget, so it needs to be dealt with swiftly and transparently.”