FIA president Jean Todt believes that an F1 budget cap is not a solution for cost-cutting. F1’s owners, Liberty Media, have been pursuing a ceiling on team spending in the future. But Todt thinks that it would be a mistake to rely solely on a cost cap as a means of controlling expenditure. Instead, he suggested that a cost cap must go hand-in-hand with other regulations that help make F1 cheaper.
Todt said, “We have been talking about cost control/cost cap for a while. I believe it is a good move, but for me it has to be a combination. We need to make regulations which will have some impact on the actual costs. To simply say we are going make a cost cap, I don’t think it will work. So far, any attempt has not worked. We have to be able to agree something that will be more sophisticated in order to achieve that.”
F1’s commercial chiefs will be meeting the teams individually to discuss in more detail the idea of a budget cap. All teams acknowledge that costs need to be taken care of, but there is some scepticism about whether or not a ceiling is workable. Red Bull boss Christian Horner was doubtful about its policing, which was why attempts to introduce it before, have failed. But he agreed with Todt about getting other rules in place to limit costs.
Horner said, “I’m not a huge fan of budget caps because I question how policeable it is – because everyone’s corporate structure is different. It absolutely has to go hand in hand with dealing with the cost drivers upstream, because the costs are generated through the regulations. That is what determines the amount we spend. So you have to deal with the root cause, and then it becomes far less sensitive to be imposing a cap. If you put all your reliance on a cap, there is too much pressure on the dam.”