Franz Tost believes it’s wrong that a Formula 1 season is concluded while cost cap audits are still ongoing, suggesting they should be finalized by season end.
With both Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship now wrapped by Max Verstappen and Red Bull, what remains as a talking point is the Milton Keynes outfit’s breach of the 2021 cost cap, a matter that was finalized by the FIA over the Mexico Grand Prix weekend, details finally released.
Red Bull will pay the FIA $7-Million and will have to forfeit 10% of the wind tunnel time over the coming 12 months, a penalty not everyone concurs with.
The matter was presented to AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost – Red Bull’s sister team – and was quizzed whether the FIA has reinforced the cost cap with the manner they handled Red Bull’s case.
Tost called on the FIA to have a head start on controlling the cost cap for 2022, making sure the complicated audit process is concluded concurrently with the F1 season.
Tost said: “I think we should close this chapter now for 2021 but the FIA has to control the teams from the very beginning onwards, from January onwards, which is what I said already two years ago when we discussed this cost cap story.
Teams need continuous support and monitoring
“Why? Because the regulation is very, very complicated and there is room for different interpretations and therefore the teams need some support and the FIA has to send people to the teams to check all this because it’s bad for the image of Formula 1, for the teams, whatever, if one year afterwards we discuss about overspending or whatever,” the team boss explained.
“This has to be done and sorted out during the season, that at the end of the season everything is finalized and the technical regulations are also possible; why shouldn’t it be possible in the financial regulations.
“We have a meeting every Tuesday,” revealed of his team’s own process of self-audit. “I know every Tuesday how much we are below the cost cap and how we have to react.
“I think this should be the Formula 1 standard, that at the end of the season we know who won the championship and that this team was below the cost cap and everything has been sorted out,” the Austrian concluded.
It is quite a valid point what Tost has raised as the complicated matter of auditing the cost cap would require a huge amount of manhours and auditors for the FIA to monitor the process and police the cap diligently, an aspect of the cap that is the most difficult to apply, and of which many are skeptical.
And again, the fact that a driver and team are crowned Champions and then wait ten months or more to be cleared of any cost cap wrongdoing is ludicrous.
At the end of the season, Formula 1 should have its Champions announced beyond any doubt.