F1 budget cap could include ‘Snowden’ clause

According to Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, the teams have agreed to a $200 million budget cap for the 2015 and beyond. While budget caps have all been given lip service, the biggest concern is governance and control of those budgets as teams could be creative in how they record expenses and revenue.

To combat that possibility, Eccelstone says the new budget cap will also have a “whistleblower” provision in it that rewards anyone with knowledge of teams that may be cheating. Ecclestone told Christian Sylt:

“The plan under consideration is to give €1 million to any whistleblower whose knowledge is proved to be accurate. We will then say to the team that the following year you will lose three of the maximum points you have scored. Then let’s see if they want to cheat.”

Apparently this reward is for anyone, not just F1 personnel, who offers valid evidence that the teams are actually cheating. For the record, you can send the check to F1B, Mr. E, because I accuse all of the teams of creative write-off’s, accounting errors in expense reporting and interest deductions. Luca Pacioli would be a bit surprised by the creative Ecclestone said:

“We have approved the budget cap. It is going to happen. Everyone agreed to $200 million. What hasn’t been agreed is what is in the $200 million. Unless we include everything, I am sure people will find ways around it. It’s going to be difficult.”

It’s a tough call because unless you are plowing deep into the balance sheet of every team, it could be very difficult to know exactly how much they are spending. Not implying malfeasance but each team reports their income and expenses differently within certain guidelines.

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