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F1 says staff could switch to Formula E following budget cap


While Jean Todt has dismissed claims that F1 could go "all-electric" in ten years, the proposed budget cap could see F1 personnel head to the all-electric Formula E series, suggests an insider.

The Daily Mail reports that over the last decade the number of staff at UK-based F1 teams has soared by 28.5 per cent.

However, with a proposed budget cap of $150m which would see only driver salaries exempted, along with marketing staff and those working on the design, development and manufacture of the engines, it is estimated that the seven British-based F1 teams alone would need to shed as many as 1,250 jobs.

While the average team spends around 171.8m a year, world champions Mercedes 2016 budget was 274.9m.

Due to the fact that a team's success is measured by its on-track success as opposed to balancing it books, it comes as no surprise that in 2016 the UK-based teams made a combined net loss of 3.5m on a total revenue of 1.2bn.

One high-level source in the motor industry told the Daily Mail that the sport is preparing itself for some devastating cuts. "People could move jobs within the industry but may not want to go", they added.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for McLaren said: "McLaren Racing is not only supportive of the proposed budget cap, but we believe it should be introduced as soon as possible in its entirety for the long term health of Formula 1.

"We are comfortable that we will be able to manage our existing resources within the final budget number proposed," added the spokesman. "McLaren is a diverse organisation with a fast-growing Applied Technologies business and successful Automotive company.

"Add to that our involvement in other motorsport categories, and our ongoing consideration of new series, and we are confident that we can redeploy and refocus resources accordingly."

According to an F1 spokesman, "the introduction will be phased to allow for adjustment, and due to an improved revenue distribution going hand in hand with the cost cap, smaller teams will be able to expand their organisations, making it more of redistribution of labour.

"Some teams will absorb surplus labour into their road car groups," they added, “others are already involved in other motorsports, including Formula E."

At Mercedes, Toto Wolff, who wants to see the budget cap phased in gradually, insists: "My utmost priority is protecting our structure and our people.

"It (should be) a process, not an event...," he said of the cap, "It needs to go over several years, and it needs to consider the various structures that are being put in place."

However, as we recently pointed out, Force India, which recently went into Administration, only to be rescued by a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll, was not only running on a budget significantly less than the proposed $150m cap, it had finished fourth in the standings for two-consecutive seasons. And still went under.


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1. Posted by ffracer, 22/09/2018 0:52

"After watching F1 for over 40 years , the Force India team saga and their accomplishments are becoming one of the more incredible stories to come out of this sport. This example really needs to be examined in full before we write off the budget cap.

On that note, and while we can marvel at the safety of these current F1 racecars, we really could do without all the overkill: the seemingly endless window blind -type wings, fins and DRS... and all the 356/24/7 WT time that goes with it all, producing complete sets for every racetrack. The 2021 car will work.

The sport was compromised when they let the automatic gearbox in... Gilles was right about it."

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2. Posted by NS Biker, 21/09/2018 4:00

"The basic idea of re-distributing the surplus employees to Formula E or other series is ludicrous.
Formula E is a spec series and there is little need for designers and fabricators in the teams. Besides, it is very likely the teams (in all relevant categories) are already "right sized" for the nature of the series and the technical demands.
Yes, there will be some specialist designers and engineers make the switch, but likely not many.
Maybe they can all become "Drivers" as their salary is not included in the budget cap.
Hats off to Force India. To accomplish what they have on a budget that is below the target is fantastic.
Were I in a position to chase a career in racing, that is where I would want to get to."

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3. Posted by satyaban, 20/09/2018 23:57 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 21/09/2018 0:02)

"This comment was removed by an administrator as it was judged to have broken the site's posting rules and etiquette."

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4. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 20/09/2018 19:33 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 21/09/2018 0:02)

"How any of this aids overtaking and close racing I don't know.

I read in this another reason (aside from better Partner value and Alonso a drive elsewhere) for McLaren to do an Indy Car program and maybe Le Mann.
Lessons need to be learned from Force India on what they went through before the budget cap is put in place.

This budget cap will not work with so many exceptions: there will be up to 200 designers!
Just like most tax codes that are so complicated, there will be loopholes all over the place, protests, counter protests etc.

Better to simplify the power units and the dollars per points and let the teams raise their own revenue and burn the cash the way they want.

The English Premier League is one of the top if not the top football competitions in the world. It doesn't have salary caps or budgets yet is still popular and seems to be working OK. It doesn't even have a post season tournament to put "bums on seats" like Australian National Rugby League, where the top 8 out of 16 teams go to the "finals".

Simplify the way the teams earn money for points, get rid of historical and other weird extra payments and let the teams spend what they want where they want.
Otherwise, ditch the current F1, put more power into the F2 cars then rename them F1."

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5. Posted by JClark-Monza1967, 20/09/2018 19:02

"While I feel for anyone who loses their jobs, the absurd levels of spending and the accompanying jobs are entirely the responsibility of the the big teams. The future of F1 can't be sacrificed by prioritizing maintaining jobs. "

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