Mattia Binotto has stated that the team had ceased development work on their 2022 car because they have reached the cost limit imposed by Formula One’s governing body.
The threshold was initially set at $145 million but was this year dropped to $140 million. It includes costs for automotive development but leaves out some things, including driver salary.
The Italian-based team had a dominant start to the 2022 season, taking two of the opening three races. However, as the season has progressed, they have found it more and more challenging to compete with competitors Red Bull and Mercedes.
At the Japanese Grand Prix one month ago, the team unveiled the most recent update for the SF-21, which it characterized as a “minor” modification to its floor.
Prior to that, the team’s most recent modification was made at the Italian Grand Prix when a lower-downforce beam wing was introduced to better fit the fast Monza circuit.
Because it was against the rules to spend more money on the car, Binotto acknowledged that no more work on this year’s car followed those upgrades.
“It was not a choice,” he told media including RaceFans after last Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix. “We simply finished the money for the budget cap.
“So simply we were at the cap and had no more opportunity of developing the car. So we simply stayed where we were.”
Teams will be able to use a lot of the development work they’ve done on their 2023 designs as the technical regulations for next year are largely the same as they are for this year.
However, Binotto noted that the new components still needed to be constructed and that there were no funds for doing so this year.
“We didn’t compromise next year’s car development, but certainly we decided to stop the current one,” said Binotto.
“Because on top of this normal development, on the current one, you would need to produce the parts and bring them on-track. And that was the extra cost that we couldn’t afford.”