The International Automobile Federation (FIA) has confirmed that after the Italian Grand Prix, all competitors have been granted their Certificates of Compliance. The certificates reassure that all teams did not exceed the cost cap limit during 2022.
Despite preceding speculations that some teams had overshot their budgets, these allegations were doused by the certificates. The FIA had been cautiously inspecting the teams’ spending, fueling these rumors.
Potentially major costs that piqued the attention of many involve the teams’ non-F1 activities. There were suspicions that some teams had been taking advantage of their non-F1 technology departments to bolster the development of their gran prix cars in a move that many saw as manipulating the cost cap.
While alert to this potential questionable practice, the FIA sought to halt the exploitation of non-F1 technology divisions in its tracks early on in the year. A technical directive referred to as TD45 was issued several months prior, explicitly forbidding the transfer of any intellectual property (IP) from non-F1 tasks to the grand prix teams if it was deemed to be exempt from the cost cap.
This shifted approach is understood to have affected many teams’ functioning extensively. Nonetheless, many competitors welcomed it. They believed that the new directive would probably snuff out any ambiguous interpretation in the cost cap rules as it stood.
Following the issuing of the Certificates of Compliance for the previous year, Zak Brown of McLaren Racing believes that with TD45, that only officially took effect from the beginning of 2023, can significantly equalize this year’s competition field.
Brown stated, “[With] TD45, there was a reason why that was put in place,” he said. “And so hopefully that will close any additional loopholes. Everyone passed this year, which is good for Formula 1, but Formula 1 teams try to be as clever as possible. And, hopefully, TD45 is something that will close any loopholes that may have still been existing. I think the cost cap was always going to be a bit of a learn-as-you-go.”
Toto Wolff, the boss of Mercedes, admitted that although there were doubts regarding some teams potentially having violated the rules, his team had to trust the FIA‘s intensive investigation procedures. Wolff is satisfied with the outcome, stating, “At the end, the result was that all teams got the Certificate of Compliance and, in that respect, that’s good to know. It seems everybody has been checked thoroughly. And all possible ideas in the background have disappeared because they got the carte blanche. So, I think we just need to get on with the rest now.”