The FIA announced today that it would be delaying the release of its financial certifications regarding the cost cap regulations until next week. Last weekend’s grand prix was met with near accusations of red Bull and Aston Martin over-spending and falling afoul of the regulations.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was out front leading the speculation and starting the paddock rumblings by suggesting that it was an open secret in the paddock amongst teams that two of them had over spent. The implication Wolff made was heavily pointed toward Red Bull.
While it remains to be seen if Red Bull did spend more than the $145m allowed for last year, time will tell but his accusations were not received well from Red Bull boss Christian Horner and it has prompted the FIA to hastily cover it’s own tail in it’s latest press release:
The FIA informs that the conclusion of the analysis of the 2021 financial submissions of the Formula 1 teams and the subsequent release of Certificates of Compliance to the Financial Regulations will not take place on Wednesday, 5 October.
The analysis of financial submissions is a long and complex process that is ongoing and will be concluded to enable the release of the Certificates on Monday, 10 October. The Financial Regulations were agreed unanimously by all Competitors, who have worked positively and collaboratively with the FIA Cost Cap Administration throughout this first year under the Financial Regulations.
As previously communicated, there has been significant and unsubstantiated speculation and conjecture in relation to this matter, and the FIA reiterates that until it is finalized, no further information will be provided. The FIA also reiterates that any suggestion that FIA personnel have disclosed sensitive information is equally baseless.
This is a tough situation that Toto has started because if he’s wrong, he was making accusations that are dangerously close to defamation and if he’s wrong, it leaves the FIA red-faced because everyone will ask how he knew ahead of time?
There will be accusations that Toto’s former personal attorney, who was hired by the FIA in a senior position, may be the culprit. Recriminations will fester.
I was thinking about this today and that’s why it’s taken me a while to post anything about the delay. I was considering what Toto has to gain by shaking the Red Bull tree and implicating the FIA. Again, if true, that means he knew and that’s implicates the FIA. IF he’s wrong, it is defamatory language he hurled at Red Bull.
Red Bull is his main nemesis so rattling their cage may seem easy to understand. I am guessing that there has been more distance placed between Toto and the FIA with the new FIA president. Perhaps last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and this year’s nose stud gate against Lewis has Toto on edge and stirring the pot. Perhaps not. Just my guess.