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Binotto questions budget cap

NEWS STORY
14/08/2021

Revealing that crashes, such as that at the Hungaroring, have cost Ferrari €2.5m so far this season, Mattia Binotto joins Christian Horner in questioning the budget cap.

Considering the problems faced by Max Mosley when he attempted to introduce a budget cap, the move almost leading to the break-up of the sport, some were more than a little surprised when, under its new ownership, the sport got the teams to finally agree with barely more than a whimper of dissent.

This year saw the $145m cap introduced for the first time, and by 2023 this will have fallen to $135m.

However, nobody appeared to notice at least one elephant in the room, the question of how such a cap would impact teams should their drivers be involved in accidents, especially those accidents in which they were the innocent victim.

In the wake of the infamous Silverstone clash, Christian Horner revealed that Max Verstappen's car had incurred $1.8m (1.3m) in damage, while God only knows what the bill for the Hungaroring weekend came to for the Austrian outfit.

With his engine irreparably damaged, Charles Leclerc, the victim of Lance Stroll's overenthusiasm, has, according to team boss, Mattia Binotto, left Ferrari with a hefty repair bill. Indeed, he suggests that so far this season accidents have cost the Maranello squad €2.5m (2.1m).

Understandably, the Italian is not impressed, and like Horner is now questioning an aspect of the budget cap that appears to have been overlooked.

"This is the amount we have spent, from Bahrain to Hungary, for the damage suffered on the track and we are only halfway through the season," he told Autosprint.

"There have been, and continue to be, discussions on the matter. In case of an accident, in which you are involved without blame, is it right to keep the damage account out of the budget cap?" he continued.

"The point is important. The reason why I quoted our figure is to show that overall the damage can cost a lot and therefore, I wonder, should we consider a different type of regulation in those cases?

"It is not easy to find a solution, but I think it is something we will undoubtedly discuss with the FIA, F1 and all the other teams in the coming weeks."

"It's been a significant challenge," he subsequently told Motorsport.com of the cap, "but I think the whole organisation has responded incredibly well.

"It's been about addressing efficiency, which Formula 1 teams haven't been particularly great at in prior years," he admitted.

"I think the challenge is significant, it's ongoing, but it's been well embraced," he insisted. "Obviously we've driven efficiency through internal capacity in terms of not outsourcing components and I think we've seen significant reductions. But it's been a challenge and will continue to be a challenge to get there.

"But I think as a discipline for Formula 1, it definitely has a serious impact on the costs."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Stitch431, 16/08/2021 19:22

"I just read this comment on the situation on a Dutch site ( Royalere):

"Shit happens, But that the whole Mercedes clique continues to refuse to put the blame on Hamilton. Imagine the next race the situation to be the same, but this time for Lewis/Mercedes ... Of course they will stand on their hind legs.

Or do you think they would say: 'racing incident'. But okay suppose in Spa this happens:

-Max rams Lewis into the piles in Eau rouge
-Lewis's car and motor are broken
-Max can continue and becomes first
- Lewis has to go to the hospital
- the car has been written off
- After qualifying in the Netherlands they find out that the engine has to be replaced
- Chassis is not optimal
- A lot of costs the team did not calculate.
- Lewis is knocked off the track by Perez that same race
- Lewis must take a 100% sure grid penalty later in the season
- Max is 40 points ahead in the Netherlands

If this happens and the Taxiboys call it a racing incident then we'll talk."

I think that if this scenario comes true, All at Mercedes will be whining. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure of that."

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2. Posted by Wokingchap, 14/08/2021 12:45

"Pavlo...... very much like your ideas on this, especially the fine concept, although not sure the stewards ( or who) should decide the amount."

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3. Posted by Pavlo, 13/08/2021 15:53

"I am thinking of the analogy of points or time. If accident happens, offending driver is penalized with time or points, and offended either can profit from it or sometimes not. And it will not always cover the damage done.
Also it's not possible to precisely define the damage, as it depends on the ability and wish of the team to use money (or time).
Therefore logical solution is to put monetary fine on the offending team that is transferred to the offended team. The fine would be proportional to the error as defined by stewards (not to the damage done, same as with time penalty). Quite often lower than the price to repair the car, forcing offended team to use it efficiently, but also they can use it on anything they want. This will also keep the sum of budget caps stable, which is good for the sport.
"

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