F1 giants Red Bull, Mercedes, Aston Martin and Ferrari in trouble following FIA’s adoption of TD45

The FIA has recently issued a new technical directive called TD45, the new directive has influence over outside sporting interests for the F1 racing teams. 4 teams have caught the FIAs’ eye, resulting in an investigation being launched on the teams’ activities.

The FIA has asked the 4 teams to produce additional clarification on the operation of their satellites post the recent round cost cap document submission across the grid. The 4 teams are Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, and Aston Martin.

What is FIA’s new addition TD45?

TD45 refers to a technical directive issued by the FIA in relation to the policing of the “non-F1 activities” conducted by the teams. These activities involve the design of boats, bicycles, or road cars that are not directly related to F1. The purpose of the TD45 is to address a potential loophole where teams can transfer personnel to such projects, allowing them to operate outside the F1 budget cap.

FIA Team Principals press conference - 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix | Formula 1®

The concern is that even though these projects fall outside the F1 budget cap, the knowledge and expertise gained from them could still be applicable to the F1 design. This situation has raised concerns among team bosses, such as Otmar Szafnauer of the Alpine team, who have voiced their worries about the potential advantages gained by teams involved in such projects.

Why FIA is investigating top F1 teams?

Examples of teams engaged in non-F1 activities include Mercedes and Red Bull. Mercedes has been heavily involved in America’s Cup, with James Allison returning to his role as Mercedes technical director after overseeing the INEOS Britannia outfit. Red Bull is also active in the world of bicycle design.

Another example mentioned is Ferrari’s success at the latest 24 Hours of Le Mans, where their racing and GT divisions worked together effectively. These instances highlight projects that fall outside the F1 budget cap and have prompted the FIA to examine them more closely and seek further clarification from the teams involved, namely Mercedes, Red Bull, and Ferrari.  

24 Hours of Le Mans 2023: Ferrari claim sensational win on return, Toyota take second place - Eurosport

The latest batch of scrutineering, along with the issuance of the TD45 technical directive, holds significant implications, particularly for the top four teams in the current Constructors’ Championship: Red Bull, Mercedes, Aston Martin, and Ferrari.

The specific impact of this directive will depend on the extent to which teams have been utilizing intellectual property from their satellite organizations and whether they have properly accounted for it under the cost cap.

What would the FIA’s alleged concerns that these teams may be employing non-F1 initiatives for critical F1 research lead to? Share your thoughts in the comment below.


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