Vettel fined, budget cap, US F3 wins


The Formula 1 cost cap operates under a very specific set of regulations that you need an economics degree to fully understand.

It operates at a base level of $140 million, with an additional $1.2 million for each Grand Prix above a 21-race schedule, along with a plethora of exclusions and caveats.


In recent months, the top teams have warned that they will exceed the limit, mainly due to the impact of the worst inflation in four decades, the rising cost of living and the surprisingly high freight costs that have been at the less in part triggered by Russia’s invasion of Russia. Ukraine.

Frederic Vasseur, Alfa Romeo Racing Team Principal

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Smaller teams have been more reluctant to adjust the cap, pointing out that it’s the same for everyone and suggesting that their rivals should simply reduce development.

Last week, the FIA ​​accepted a 3.1% increase in the cap. This is in addition to an “inflation threshold” of 3% already built into the budget cap regulation.

Ahead of last Friday’s F1 Commission meeting, a tabled proposal has been approved by the FIA, Formula 1 and nine of the 10 teams. In a press release, the FIA ​​underlined that it “thus allows indexation at a limited rate of 3.1% (which takes into account the initial inflation threshold of 3% already defined in the regulations) and allows the capitalization of this rate from 2023. This preserves the long-term integrity of the Financial Regulations.

Neither team seemed entirely satisfied, which is probably a good result.

“It’s a good compromise in the end, and nobody was happy and it’s probably the best way to handle the matter,” said Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur. “I think we also have to keep in mind that the big teams made a mega-big push to go from over $300m to $150m and I’m happy with the outcome of the discussion.”

“Obviously the big teams wanted more, the smaller teams didn’t want anything and the compromise was in the middle,” Haas team boss Guenther Steiner explained. “But I think it shows, again, that at the end of the day, we work together.”

“Too little for the big teams, I guess, because energy prices, inflation and freight are skyrocketing, but too much for the small team, so like Guenther said, nobody’s really happy and I guess it’s a good result,” said the Mercedes chief. Toto Wolff.

f1 bahrain

Bahrain could be Formula 1’s only pre-season testing site in 2023.


Pre-season tests likely for Bahrain

Next year’s pre-season testing is set to take place in Bahrain only, ahead of the year’s opening Grand Prix in the Gulf state.

At the F1 Commission meeting, it was agreed to update the regulations “to allow pre-season testing to take place outside of Europe, four days before the first round of the championship”.

The start of the 2023 season is expected to be slightly earlier than the corresponding first round of 2022, due to the desire to integrate Bahrain and Saudi Arabia before the start of Ramadan, which begins on March 22. Formula 1 continues to work on a deal to return to South Africa after a three-decade absence, with the arrival of Las Vegas and the return of Qatar.

China, meanwhile, is also expected to return to the schedule, depending on the COVID-19 restrictions there.

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Sebastian Vettel, left, apparently didn’t like what he heard at the drivers’ meeting.

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Vettel skips our Early, Fine Suspended

Sebastian Vettel has been handed a suspended fine after leaving the drivers’ briefing without permission, after venting his frustration at the meeting.

In a statement, the stewards stressed that “drivers are not free to depart whenever they wish, which is a violation of the obligation to attend”, adding that “drivers at this level are role models for all the pilots around the world and in the opinion of the stewards Vettel did not meet this standard in this case ‘

Vettel then had a meeting with race director Niels Wittich during which he apologized “unreservedly” and the two “had a very constructive conversation about the topics of the meeting and more”.

A suspended fine of $25,400 was added as “the infraction cannot go without penalty”, which was suspended, pending further issues for the remainder of the season. The penalty was a lighter penalty due to mitigating factors based on Wittich’s report.

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Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium isn’t exactly a lock on the 2023 Formula 1 calendar.

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France, Spa on block?

Formula 1’s next event will be in France and given the expected expansion of the calendar, its next Grand Prix will likely be its last.

Another event on wobbly ground is Belgium, which would be much more absent from the calendar, due to the history of Spa-Francorchamps and the reverence in which it takes place.

“Spa is an amazing track, I don’t know any driver who doesn’t like racing at Spa while I know drivers who don’t like…yes, that would be a shame,” said Sebastian Vettel. “I don’t have a vote on that, but my vote would be to go to Spa. Especially after 2021 we will have this year, but last year people paid their money and there is no had a race, no refund, it was an opportunity where we need to be bigger as a sport and it would be a mistake to lose Spa on so many levels.”

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Pietro Fittipaldi has two F1 starts to his name.

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Fittipaldi ticks Haas’ “Rookie” boxes

Formula 1 teams are required to race rookie drivers in two test sessions this year under new regulations due to races being lost during the season. Red Bull offered now-eliminated Jüri Vips a race in Spain, as did Williams with Nyck de Vries, while technically Zhou Guanyu ticked a box for Alfa Romeo when he took part in Bahrain testing ahead of his first race .

Haas is set to face reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi in his two practice sessions.

The regulations state that to tick the box, said driver must not have participated in more than two championship races. Fittipaldi, Haas’ longtime replacement, has competed in two 2020 Sakhir and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix, replacing the injured Romain Grosjean, meaning he meets the criteria.

Fittipaldi’s last race for Haas came at pre-season testing in 2022 in Bahrain, after Nikita Mazepin left, but Haas ultimately opted to hand Kevin Magnussen the full-time racing seat. Haas has previously entrusted Ferrari proteges Charles Leclerc, Antonio Giovinazzi and Robert Shwartzman with trials or trials, but appears to be keeping things in-house for now.

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Lewis Hamiton, Max Verstappen (centre) and Charle Leclerc (right) had some explaining to do after Sunday’s race.

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Podium finishers fined for Parc Fermé infractions

The top three – Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton – were called up by the stewards shortly after the race.

Why? Well, the FIA ​​was unhappy that their individual trainers were breaking parc fermé regulations. It was stated in the post-race notes document, which is released on the Sunday morning before the race starts, that “the driver (coaches) should wait outside the cooling room behind the podium until the end of the podium ceremony”.

A report was given to the stewards stating that all three had breached this. The stewards pointed out that the rule is in place “in part to prevent the handing over of items to drivers before they are weighed”. That is, in case a driver gets extra water to carry, or even items, in case someone feels underweight. Along with the suspended fine, it was clarified that “the passes of the persons concerned may be revoked in the event of a systemic violation”.

It was a bit draconian and a bit silly look, but the rules are no doubt enforced to the letter by race director Niels Wittich.

formula 3 championship jak crawford

American Jak Crawford won in Formula 3 in Austria.

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American Crawford takes first F3 win

In Formula 3, there was a first victory for 17-year-old Jak Crawford, backed by Red Bull, from North Carolina.

Crawford controlled the proceedings from the front to claim the Sprint race victory, although his fortune came following the heartbreak of compatriot Juan Manuel Correa, who was leading the race when his ART machine crashed along from the pit straight.

Crawford also did well in the Feature Race in the rain, but was taken out of a points position by a rival. Despite the setback, Crawford holds fourth in the Championship, just 28 points behind leader Victor Martins, with four rounds left in the season.

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