Former F1 Champion Predicts Huge Implications of Cost Cap on Mercedes

Published 06/15/2021, 3:45 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 5, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in the pits during qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov


While the new technical regulations for 2022 continue to draw attention, the cost cap introduced from this season is equally crucial for the sport. The cost cap is an important measure to provide a level playing field for all teams, which is crucial to keep the sport sustainable. One team which the cost cap could affect is defending champions Mercedes.

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Recently, former Williams F1 driver Damon Hill appeared on the F1 Nation podcast. Ahead of the upcoming French Grand Prix, the Briton pointed out how the cost cap could make the Silver Arrows reshuffle their personnel.

Damon Hill believes the cost cap will bring about “a lot of moving stuff” at Mercedes

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The FIA announced the new F1 cost cap for all teams in October 2020. It sets the limit for each team’s budget for an F1 season.

Although the cost cap was first set at $175m for this season, the FIA reduced it to $145m because of the impact of COVID-19 on various teams. While Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari have much bigger budgets, the cost cap helps smaller teams attempt to compete with such teams.

Damon Hill, Jordan Formula One driver (Photo by Matthew Ashton/EMPICS via Getty Images)

On the F1 Nation podcast, Hill pointed out how the cost cap will cause a shuffle among team personnel, using Mercedes as an example. He said, “The Mercedes team in total, is approaching 2000 people if you include the engine department. But the cost cap means they’re gonna have to put people on different books, I think.

“So, there may be people moving to applied technologies, for example. And then maybe, they outsource stuff to their applied technologies. I’m sure there’s gonna be a lot of moving stuff around under headings in the columns in your accounting going on in the next few years.”

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Hill: Williams grew massively since I left

The Briton, who won the world championship in 1996 with Williams, believes the team grew since he left in 1999. While answering a question related to his former team adjusting to the cost cap, Hill pointed out the importance of streamlining.

“They’ve got to streamline. They grew massively after I left F1,” said Hill.

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“When I was at Williams, we had 150 people, and that was one of the bigger teams. And when they got BMW, there was a massive growth in the size of F1 teams, and it went up to about 600. And then they moved factory as well. It was a huge expansion of teams,” he further added.

With the cost cap for next season set at $140m for next season, Mercedes have a huge challenge on their hands for 2022. Besides sorting out their driver lineup, they need to ensure they stay competitive as well within the $140m cost cap.

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Sanket Nair

357 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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