McLaren expects to exceed F1 budget cap


Speaking in Baku, McLaren's Andreas Seidl had admitted that he expects his team to exceed this year's $140m budget cap.

Title combatants Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes have already expressed similar fears, calling on the sport's powers that be to consider revising the limit, a move to which the smaller teams object.

While Zak Brown has been quite vociferous in his defence of the cap, McLaren's team principal, Andreas Seidl has now admitted that keeping within its constraints is not feasible.

"For us, as a team that was planned to run at the cap at the beginning of the year, with all these unexpected costs that came up, we are at a position where we can't make the cap anymore," he admitted.

"You simply have certain fixed costs in order to start the season, you have fixed costs with the resources which you have in place, the personnel and so on, but you can't adjust anymore.

"With this unexpected huge increase of costs, mainly on the freight side and utility bills, we're in the same position as some other teams, so we can't make the cap this year."

While it is claimed that there is provision within the regulations allows for a 5% breach to be considered minor - something that F1 financial expert, Christian Sylt strongly denies - there is confusion over what sort of penalty might be incurred.

Alpine, Alfa Romeo and Haas all strongly object to any changes to the cap, the latter two admitting that they cannot come close to meeting the current cap far less exceeding it.

"I'm still hopeful with all the conversations that are happening at the moment," said Seidl. "Together with the other teams, with the FIA and Formula 1 that we still find the solution which is in the best interest of the sport moving forward."

Despite calling for the cap to be raised however, Seidl insists that he believes in the concept.

"It was a necessity for the sport in general, for Formula 1, but also for us as a team in order to take part in Formula 1 in a financially sustainable way," he admits. "But also in a position where you can be also then actually competitive on the sporting side.

"It is just a new dimension or parameter which you need to consider in your way, how you complete the year in Formula 1.

"It's clear, especially in the current circumstances, that the development of the car is heavily influenced by the cost cap at the moment, because of all these unexpected costs that came up recently."

Asked about discussion with the FIA, he said: "I don't want to go too much into detail about the discussions. The most important thing is in the interest of the sport, to find a defined solution for everyone because I think that's also crucial in order to make sure that the principles of the cost cap don't get watered down or whatever."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Baku, here.

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Published: 12/06/2022
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