Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto says his team had to halt development on their 2022 car because they had hit their spending limit under Formula 1's budget cap.
The Scuderia started the 2022 as the team to beat, with Charles Leclerc winning two of the campaign's first three races to seize the initiative in the championship.
However, as the season wore on, Red Bull and Max Verstappen emerged as the class of the field, with both Drivers' and Constructors' titles having been wrapped up with three races of the season still to go.
In recent weeks, Mercedes also seem to have edged ahead of Ferrari, with at least one Silver Arrows driver finishing ahead of both Ferraris in the last three Grands Prix, including a dominant 1-2 finish in Brazil last time out.
Speaking after the Brazilian Grand Prix, Binotto admitted that Ferrari have not had the financial leeway to continue developing their F1-75, having hit the $140 million limit allowed for 2022.
"It was not a choice; we simply finished the money for the budget cap, so we had no more opportunity of developing the car, so we simply stayed where we were," Binotto said in response to a question from RacingNews365.com.
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2023 development remains unaffected
The Italian added, however, that while Ferrari had decided to halt development of the F1-75, staff at their Maranello factory were continuing work on their 2023 challenger.
"We didn't compromise next year’s car development, but certainly we decided to stop the current one, because on top of this normal development on the current car, you would need to do to produce the parts, bring them on track, and that was the extra costs that we couldn't afford," he explained.
Though Ferrari have spent much of the season ahead of Mercedes in competitiveness, the Silver Arrows' recent upturn in fortunes means they are just 19 points behind the Scuderia in the Constructors' Championship, and could conceivably overhaul Ferrari at the season finale in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
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