F1 teams warned against exploiting loophole

F1 teams have been warned against ‘stockpiling’ loophole

The FIA has warned teams against exploiting a loophole ahead of the introduction of a cost cap being introduced into Formula 1 next season.

McLaren boss Zak Brown highlighted the potential for teams to stockpile components ahead of the introduction of a $145 million cap.

With cars set to remain largely unchanged next season, and with teams currently unrestricted in what they can spend, stockpiling components now could afford the opportunity to save costs in 2021 and divert that money to the development of the 2022 car.

However, Brown suggests the FIA is across the loophole and is set to outlaw the practice.

“There’s been conversations around people stockpiling this year, with no budget cap, for next year, to allow you to spend next year’s money more on 2022,” Brown explained.

“I think the FIA has seen that coming in and is on top of it, and (will be) putting regulations in place as to restrict your ability to spend a lot of money (now) for 2021, to allow you to spend 2021 for a head start on 2022.”

Though Brown isn’t aware of any teams which have already taken advantage of the loophole, the FIA has moved to issue a note warning teams against the practice.

Financial Regulations are set to be introduced into Formula 1 for the first time from 2021, with the $145 million cost cap the first step in a glide path down to $130 million in future years.

That cost cap comes with some exemptions but is regarded as a significant step in ensuring the sport’s ongoing viability.

Put in perspective, Mercedes spent $426 million on its championship winning campaign in 2019.

Next year’s Financial Regulations will be followed by significant technical changes for the following season.

Originally set to be introduced together, the technical package was delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to kerb costs.

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