Budget cap will make F1 sustainable, says Ferrari CEO


Following a meeting of F1 bosses and the FIA, Ross Brawn has revealed that the budget cap limit to be offered to the teams is $145m (115m). Though this is $30m down on the original limit, it is between $25m and $45m more than the likes of McLaren were hoping for.

Ferrari, like Red Bull, was hoping for the higher figure, and in light of the fact that some teams produce components used by rivals had actually pushed for a two-tier cap.

Having 'clarified' Mattia Binotto's comments which appeared to suggest it might quit if it didn't get its own way, Ferrari admits that a budget cap is vital if the sport is to remain sustainable, though it remains to be seen whether it accepts the $145m limit.

"There has been significant progress on numerous measures to freeze various components and hence reduce costs going forward," said CEO, Louis Camilleri as the company revealed its Q1 results.

"There has been substantial progress on a cost ceiling and its perimeter effective as of 2021, which will hopefully be put to bed in the near future," he continued.

"It remains our hope that such ceiling will render F1 more economically sustainable for all participants, while ensuring that it remains the premier racing championship globally and the source of significant advances in automotive innovation and technology."

This comes at a time the company's net revenues for 2020 have been heavily revised courtesy of the ongoing pandemic. Indeed, the lack of F1 activity, along with the lockdowns that have hit its stores and museums, has seen sponsorship, commercial and brand revenue down almost $43m (34m) year-on-year.

"There is no way we can offset the hit to the revenues on sponsorship fees, and especially on the revenues that are generated by the Commercial Rights Holder," said Camilleri.

"The hit to revenue essentially goes down to the bottom line, with some minor offsets, but it's a big hit. The good news is it's confined to this year... hopefully.

"Formula One is undoubtedly the activity that will adversely affect our results in 2020 in the harshest manner," he admitted. "It is also the one that is by far the hardest to predict.

"There will be a maximum of 18 races with many without fans. This clearly implies a drastic reduction in the revenues that are generated by the commercial rights holder, as well as sponsorship fees, our two primary sources of revenue."

Referring to the prize fund for 2020 and beyond, he said: "Our current thinking is that in terms of revenues, although it is somewhat unpredictable, in 2021 they should come back certainly, in terms of the races, which is a big part of it.

"In terms of sponsoring we know the Formula One Group has worked a lot on trying to attract new sponsors. This situation has delayed certain things but hopefully by 2021 that will come back.

"At this stage we don't really foresee a continued reduction in CRH revenues, in terms of Formula 1 for next year, all things being equal."

Anyone else get the feeling that he had his fingers tightly crossed as he said this?

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Published: 05/05/2020
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