Williams F1 team fined for breach of financial rules procedure
The FIA said Williams had not submitted its full reporting documentation for the full year from 2021 by the March 31, 2022 deadline, as required by Article 5.1 of the sport’s financial regulations introduced in 2021. .
Williams was made aware of the breach in April by the FIA cost cap administration, and the Grove team duly cooperated with the FIA in order to rectify the breach.
The governing body said the team entered into an ABA (Accepted Breach Agreement) which resulted in a $25,000 fine.
The FIA said in a statement: “Having reviewed Williams’ explanation and in particular given that the procedural breach was voluntarily disclosed by Williams prior to the full year reporting deadline of March 31, 2022 and Williams has been fully cooperative in seeking to remedy the breach, the Cost Cap Administration has deemed it appropriate to offer Williams an ABA resolving the breach on the terms set forth below, which offer has been accepted by Williams.
According to the FIA, Williams has also agreed to remedy the procedural flaw by May 31, 2022 and to “pay the costs incurred by the administration of the cost cap related to the preparation of the ABA”.
“The Cost Cap Administration’s decision to enter into the aforementioned ABA constitutes its final decision resolving the matter and is not subject to appeal,” the statement added.
“Williams’ failure to comply with any of the ABA conditions will result in a further breach of procedure under Articles 6.30 and 8.2(f) of the Financial Rules and automatic referral to the Cost Cap Arbitration Committee. .
“The Cost Cap Administration confirms that as of the date hereof, Williams has, within the time specified, cured the procedural breach, paid the Financial Penalty, and borne the costs incurred by the Cost Cap Administration in connection with of the preparation of the ABA.”
Alex Albon, Williams FW44
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
The current budget cap introduced in 2022 is $140 million for the year, with an additional $1.2 million for a 22nd race.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said last month that his team could be forced to miss some races unless the cap is adjusted to match inflation levels.
F1 teams have yet to agree on a direction to tackle inflation, with several of the smaller teams saying revising the cap would set a bad precedent.
Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto warned there was a way his team could fall below the cap, but was unclear what the consequence would be as there is no set penalty for what is known as a “minor” violation of the rules within 5% percent of the limit.
Horner said: “I think all the big teams are going to break that $140 million cap this year. But what’s the penalty for a minor infraction?
“What we don’t want to do is end up playing chicken and saying, are you going for 4.9% more, are we going for 4.7%? And that could be an upgrade: that could be the differentiating factor of this world championship.
“I think what we need is clarity and clarity quickly.”