How Will the Updated 22-Race Calendar Help F1 Teams Struggling With the Budget Cap?

Published 09/01/2021, 6:26 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – August 1, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas collides with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez Pool via REUTERS/Peter Kohalmi


The complicated 2020 F1 season witnessed loads of strange circuits returning or debuting in F1, which added an element of refreshment for the fans. And a lot of the Grand Prix weekend ended up being a huge success as well.

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Consequently, the governing body believed that they could retain a few of them along with the circuits already under contract in 2021, which shaped up to be a record-breaking season comprising 23 race weekends.

However, the enduring pandemic meant that a lot of hosts including Canada and Australia had to back out. The latest circuit to join the list was the classic Suzuka, situated in Japan, which led to major tweaking to the calendar.

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Charles Leclerc of Ferrari and France during the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Peter J Fox/Getty Images)

With options potentially running thin, F1 had to bring the 2021 season’s calendar down to 22 races again. It is a shame, considering the sport’s desperate efforts into providing almost weekly actions for the fans. Interestingly, it will come as a blessing in disguise for the teams and their drivers.

Of course, for the drivers, it’s the extra break. The number of triple headers this season has now come down to three, with one already down and two more to go. However, for the teams, their relief is purely related to a possible increase in financial stability.

How the 22-race calendar will help the F1 teams?

The budget cap made its entry into the 2021 F1 season, and a lot of teams have had to go through major cost-cutting. What’s more, Red Bull are certainly with the budget cap limit, after both their drivers suffered a total of four accidents in the last three race weekends, pulling a chunk of money out of their pockets.

Well, this clause in the agreement regarding the budget cap could help them. As of 2021, the budget cap limit was around $145 million for 21 races, according to Motorsport-Total.

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Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 29, 2021 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez crashes out before the start of the race REUTERS/Johanna Geron

And with each additional race, the limit rises by $1.2 million. Hence, on paper ahead of the season, F1 set the limit at approximately $147.4 million for the teams, considering the two additional races.

Now, with the exclusion of Japan, the number of race weekends is down to 22 races. And one might naturally assume that the budget cap, too, will reduce to $146.2 million. Interestingly, that’s not the case.

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According to a clause in the agreement, irrespective of the changes to the calendar, the budget cap will remain unchanged. Meaning, the teams will now receive $1.2 million as a bonus amidst Japan’s exit. Hence, will the hefty bonus of $1.2 million assist the teams in the development of their 2021 project?

Watch Story: Biggest Crashes From 2020 Featuring Leclerc, Vettel & Grosjean

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Rohit Kumar

1170 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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