In 2020, F1 announced a new set of financial regulations for the 2021 season, which featured a $145 million cost cap. The cost cap will see a reduction season by season with the 2022 limit set at $140 million. The idea was to have a more level playing field for the teams. Top teams have blatantly protested against this for multiple reasons; leading this group features this season’s leader, Red Bull.
In a recent interview with Martin Brundle, Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner revealed how the cost cap has affected the team. He said, “It is controlling the teams from ourselves. Previously we would have a development budget that would have been circa $50 million. We got 8 this year.”
He added, “You have to be so precise where you want to spend and commit your funding.” Horner concluded by saying, “It’s a completely different mental attitude. F1 used to be run as fast as you can then work out how you’re gonna pay for it. Now it’s about can we actually afford to do this.”
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However, he also credited the cost cap for doing its job that is bringing the grid closer together. While this is a good outcome for the fans, the Milton Keynes outfit may not be too happy being unable to further the gap to the rest of the grid.
Skyrocketing inflation leaves Red Bull and Co. frustrated
When F1 debuted its cost cap, teams were forced to operate on a $140 million budget this season. However, so far the rising inflation has led to the team’s struggle to comply with these regulations.
The situation has got to that point that the larger teams have suggested that they might even need to lay off staff to be able to operate under the cost cap. The rising costs have prompted FIA to redraft the cost cap.
Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – July 31, 2022 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen crosses the line to win the race REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo
9 out of the 10 teams are on board with this plan. Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer has publicly opposed his rival’s calls to increase spending. Speaking to Top Gear he said, “I can understand it from their side, what have they got to lose? The FIA, if they say ‘no’, they’re in the same place. So they might as well try.”
He added, “But I’m a big fan of not changing the rules in the middle of the season because inevitably it will be inequitable for somebody. You change the playing field, and it’s just not healthy.”
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Only time will tell how this financial saga will pan out. In the meantime, the teams will be hoping to come back from the summer break firing on all cylinders.
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