Ferrari has questioned Formula One’s governing body’s ability to effectively police the sport’s budget cap.
The cap, according to team principal Mattia Binotto, is a “very green regulation,” with “very few people in the FIA monitoring it.”
“It has to improve for the future because it would be really bad if a championship was dictated by a financial regulation rather than technical or sporting criteria,” he said.
His remarks follow reports that Red Bull will use a lighter car in upcoming races.
It is widely assumed in Formula One that Red Bull will introduce a new chassis that is 4kg lighter than its current one in order to end Max Verstappen’s second world drivers’ title and the constructors’ championship.
The target event is said to be the Singapore Grand Prix in early October, three races away, though it could be sooner.
Red Bull has stated several times this season that they are working to reduce the weight of their car this year, and 4kg would result in a 0.14-second lap-time gain.
When asked if this was Red Bull’s intention, team principal Christian Horner responded, “No, there is no [lighter chassis].” These chassis will be used in the upcoming races.”
When asked if the team would stick to its budget this year, a spokesperson said, “Yes, we have had fewer upgrades than Ferrari and Mercedes.”
In response to a question about the governing body’s budget cap monitoring procedures, an FIA spokesperson stated, “The FIA is committed to robust monitoring processes and will continue to strengthen, develop, and refine all areas of its activities in this new era of Formula One.”
“Financial regulations can cause differences between teams in how they interpret and implement them.”
“And we know that we need a very strong FIA to ensure that they are properly focusing, because otherwise the regulations will not be fair and equitable.”
“Ferrari would never be capable of introducing a lightweight chassis or a different chassis over the course of a season simply [due to the] budget cap, and I would be very surprised if a team is capable of doing so.”
“We wouldn’t be able to introduce a chassis at that stage of the season,” Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said. We are massively overweight, which we haven’t been able to address because we are experimenting with car parts to solve our various problems, and we simply cannot afford it.
“So the goal achieved by instituting the cost cap was completely met. That is what they aimed for. The major league teams cannot simply throw money at it.”
The budget cap was implemented in 2021 and was set at $140 million (£119 million) this season, but teams were allowed a 3.5% overspend due to inflationary pressures.