Valtteri Bottas Counters McLaren Boss’ Unpopular F1 Salary Cap Claim – “Drivers Are the Stars”

Published 05/15/2021, 4:31 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 6, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix REUTERS/Albert Gea


Over the years, F1 has hosted several rounds of talks regarding the initiation of a budget cap into the sport. And the teams ultimately joined hands in the matter to offer their support. Hence, with the budget cap enjoying a grand success, the focus has now shifted to the salary cap, but Valtteri Bottas doesn’t seem to be a great fan of the idea.

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A salary cap basically ends the roof high earnings that the F1 drivers are relishing at the moment. And many, including McLaren’s boss, Zak Brown, reckoned that this could bring financial equality amongst the drivers and their teams.

Brown wrote, “As the teams continue to reduce their costs throughout the company, it makes sense that driver salaries, along with the three highest-paid employee salaries, should ultimately fall below a defined allowance.

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Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – McLaren Chief Executive Officer Zak Brown during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

The extension of the budget ceiling by a defined and regulated allocation for driver costs and the three highest salaries will include all important performance elements and really bring the sport to the same level,” the American continued.

To secure our future, we have to keep reducing the costs of our sport in all areas.

However, Bottas isn’t too keen on following Brown’s ideology and offered a different point of view on the matter.

What did Valtteri Bottas say?

As reported by Motorsport-Total, the Finn claimed that F1 drivers, being “the stars of the show,” deserve to be on the receiving side of the hefty pay.

My thoughts on that? It depends on the numbers, of course,” he said. “Because we are in a position where we use big brands for marketing purposes. In Formula 1, they use our image. In the end, the drivers are the stars of the show. That has value.” (Translated from German using Google Translate)

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Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 2, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas before the race Pool via REUTERS/Gabriel Bouys

It really depends on the cut. What would be the maximum, I don’t know any details. Obviously, there is a limit to everything.

As of now, a salary cap of $30M is under talks, which is yet to be confirmed. However, there is also a wide array of uncertainty over drivers’ participation in this.

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With Bottas voicing out first, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if others, too, follow with a similar piece of opinion. Hence, how far is F1 going to succeed in implementing a salary cap into the sport?

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Rohit Kumar

1137 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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