Ferrari didn’t “voluntarily” decide to stop updating their car at the Singapore Grand Prix – they were forced to after they ran out of money.
That’s according to team boss Mattia Binotto.
This season Formula 1 is once again operating under a budget cap, which has caused teams to think carefully about their updates as they seek to balance speed and finances.
Ferrari, however, didn’t get the numbers right, with Binotto revealing they had blown their budget and had to stop working on the car.
“It’s not a choice we made voluntarily,” the Italian explained to Auto Motor and Sport. “We just ran out of money.
“We can’t afford the extra costs of producing the parts.
As such, the Italian is surprised to see that Ferrari’s rivals were still bringing updates at the end of the season.
As Ferrari halted its upgrades at the Singapore Grand Prix, Red Bull technical director Rob Marshall said there were “still very minimal things to come”.
Mercedes, meanwhile, introduced a big upgrade at the United States Grand Prix before debuting a new front wing in Mexico.
Mercedes’ updates have allowed the Brackley team to not only close the gap to Ferrari on the track, but also in the standings, helped by their first double of the season at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
Binotto was questioned by Motorsport.com how a car that was a second behind Ferrari could “close the gap, bringing technical innovations to the track until the end”.
He replied, “I don’t know how much it helps to understand.
“I remember we were at Imola when I said we were worried about the budget cap and how it would be controlled because the financial is a brand new regulation that still needs some tweaking.
“Then, it’s clear that I too am surprised to see teams that manage to develop throughout the season.
“We can only count on the FIA and its inspectors to seriously check the accounts of each of us.
“Having said that, we will have the results for 2022 next year. We can’t wait until October 2023. It was like that this year, but I hope the FIA will increase the number of inspectors because we can’t wait October for answers.
“And I say that for the sport. It would be a shame if a team went over the spending cap.
“And to see other teams develop so much in the season, doubts can arise.”
Back at Imola, Binotto spoke of Red Bull going through their budget, with the Milton Keynes outfit apparently introducing upgrade after upgrade while Ferrari used much the same car for the first five races.
“I hope,” he said at the time, “because there’s a budget cap that at some point Red Bull will stop growing, otherwise I think I won’t understand how they can do this.”
Although there has been no suggestion that Red Bull have breached the cap this year, they did last year, spending $2.2m with the team being hit with a £7 fine. million dollars as well as the loss of 10% of its R&D time in 2023.
They were the only team to exceed the cap, although Red Bull motorsport adviser Helmut Marko believes there will be more names on the 2022 list when the FIA’s report on this year’s finances is released next year.
“I think the current status is six teams are over,” Marko told Auto Motor und Sport in Germany.
“Inflation is something that was not calculable at this point, especially when it comes to energy costs.”
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