Teams on "same page" in terms of budget cap


Though the long-awaited budget cap is still in its infancy, the teams are confident that they are all on the same page.

While we have yet to see any stepping up, so too we haven't witnessed any significant stepping down, other than the fact that the big guns have either had to shed staff or move them elsewhere.

Then there is the question of sanctions or penalties for those that exceed the (financial) track limits.

"I think everyone is on the same chapter," says Zak Brown. "I'm not sure everyone is on the same page but we will get there.

"The cost cap has been a challenge for everyone that was racing over what was allowed to be spent," he admits, "ourselves included.

"It's not easy. You have to make tough decisions. I think this year was always going to be an element of learning, so we continue to work through it.

"I think the FDs (financial directors) for all the teams, they meet quite frequently with the FIA and Formula 1," he continues, "and I think generally everyone is doing a good job and I think it's having its intended impact.

"I don't think we will see it fully settle in for another couple of years, because this year a lot of money was spent last year when there wasn't a cap in place. So I think it will take a couple of years before we see the impact of the cost cap."

"It's had a very real effect. It drives efficiency," says Christian Horner. "We have had to downscale to adopt the regulations.

"I think the penalties are already clear for any breaches," he adds. "There is discussion currently about procedures, which because it's a new set of regulations, they are all being tidied up and I hope within a month everything will be clear in terms of procedures. But it's put a key focus on value for money and costs.

"Formula 1 teams have perhaps not been that efficient in that area in history," he admits, "and I think in the past you have spent as much as you have as a budget and probably 10% more in your pursuit of performance. Now there is a hard limit and that forces and drives efficiencies and puts pressure on the situation and it's probably no coincidence that the constructors' trophies for the first two races have been picked up by the financial directors of both Mercedes and Red Bull.

"So it is playing a key role and I think ultimately that is a good thing as it drive efficiency and responsibility into the business."

"Especially for the larger teams it has been an efficiency project," says Toto Wolff. "Obviously there is some real hardship behind it because you needed to look at the organisation and an organisation is not a large organism, there are people behind, and that is the less enjoyable side, to say the least.

"Over the mid-term I guess it will help to balance out performance between the teams. As always with new regulations there are topics that need to be cleared up and specified and precised and some of the teams have expressed the wish to do that. But at the end of the day we have given each other a couple of weeks to clear that out. But from a principle, how I see it, everybody is on the same page."

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Published: 04/05/2021
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