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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

FIA Targets Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, and Aston Martin in Non-F1 Projects Crackdown 

Mercedes and Red Bull are involved in the America's Cup Competition

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Aditya Saikrishna
Aditya Saikrishna
I am 21 years old and an avid Motorsports enthusiast.

UNITED KINGDOM: The FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) recently issued a new technical directive, TD45, to curb the influence of outside sporting interests on F1 teams. The directive has caught the attention of four major teams: Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, and Aston Martin.

The FIA seeks further clarification on their satellite operations, particularly regarding the potential loophole that allows teams to transfer personnel to non-F1 projects. While this move could exempt these projects from the F1 budget cap, concerns have arisen about the transfer of knowledge and its impact on F1 design.

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TD45 primarily targets the ‘Non-F1 Activities,’ which encompass the design of boats, bicycles, and road cars. Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer has been vocal about his concerns over these projects, making the directive a welcome development for him. 

Mercedes and Red Bull are involved in the America’s Cup and bicycle design, respectively, while Ferrari demonstrated their supremacy at the recent 24 Hours of Le Mans. These projects fall outside the F1 budget cap, prompting the FIA to scrutinize them and seek further clarification from the teams involved.

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The FIA has added Aston Martin to the list of teams under assessment, given their awareness of the budget cap’s consequences following a procedural breach in 2022. 

Red Bull, on the other hand, experienced the cost cap’s severity last season when they received a $7 million fine and a reduction in wind tunnel time for overspending.

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The significance of this latest round of scrutiny cannot be understated, as Red Bull, Mercedes, Aston Martin, and Ferrari currently dominate the top four positions in the Constructors’ Championship. 

The FIA’s new technical directive explicitly states that the teams must account for any intellectual property generated by these satellite organizations but used in F1 under the cost cap.

The FIA’s suspicions that these teams might exploit their non-F1 projects for crucial F1 research have raised eyebrows in the motorsport community. 

F1 fans eagerly anticipate the implications of this crackdown as industry insiders await the outcome of the FIA’s investigation into these teams’ activities outside the sport. As the governing body looks closer at the satellite operations of Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, and Aston Martin, the future implications for the teams’ involvement in non-F1 projects remain uncertain. 

The FIA aims to ensure a level playing field in F1 and prevent teams from gaining an unfair advantage through off-track ventures. Until the FIA concludes its assessment, the motorsport world holds its breath, eagerly awaiting the resolution of this latest controversy.

Also Read: Daniel Ricciardo Eyes Fairytale Return to Red Bull Seat in F1 Career Finale


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