Formula 1 has just completed its season assignment in Australia, but the discussions behind the scenes are already turning around a completely different topic: Regulation 2021.
For the 26th of March, a meeting of the Formula One Strategy Group and Commission is scheduled to discuss a rule package, that the FIA worked out in collaboration with Liberty Media at the beginning of the year.
A basic pillar of the new rules is to become the budget ceiling, which at the same time provides a great deal of conversation. Mercedes team leader Toto Wolff has now declared that the top team is interested in introducing such a cost barrier.
The Austrian has spoken at the edge of the first Formula One race weekend about the rule finding and the meetings with Liberty Media. Already in January, Formula One boss Chase Carey tuned a more definite tone to the team leaders and pushed for a budget limit.
The right-holder model provides to reduce the cost of teams from 2021 to 2023 successively to 135 million dollars (converted around 118,5 million euro), In order to strengthen the competitiveness of small teams and ensure a more balanced balance of forces.
“I believe that momentum is in the process,” Wolff commented on the events behind the scenes. Mercedes said he was interested in introducing a budget ceiling. Although this would mean a significant loss for the top team.
Because currently the World Championship Racing Stadium operates with around 350 million euro annual budget (exclusive engine department). That is why the Viennese adds: “At the right height, so that it makes sense for everyone and the big teams can also agree.”
Toto Wolff: “It will come to a budget cap”
The smaller midfield teams should thus limit the big rivals. In addition, a ceiling should ensure that costs do not rise from year to year.
Overall, the current process agrees with him “optimistically”, Wolff notes. In an interview with the “Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung”, he adds: “There is still’Work in Progress’, but there will be a budget cap. We want him.”
However, he sees difficulties in concrete implementation and control, as teams are very differently structured.” For example, a criminal record must be drawn up in the event of a deliberate violation of the rules.”
This puts him on the line of Red Bull, as motor sports consultant Helmut Marko has already called for”drastic penalties”in the form of points deductions or racing restrictions. However, this one sees a budget ceiling “still far” away.
“Formulating it all is very complex,” Wolff understands. Toro-Rosso team leader Franz Tost, on the other hand, disagrees. The Mercedes Motorsport Manager’s compatriot even thinks that controlling a budget line is “not complicated.” Why should it be more complicated to check the books when you are already able to check rear wings, front wings and vehicle weight?” the Tyrolean asks himself and proposes a similar kind of control as with doping tests.
Racing Point team leader: Give the clevernes a chance
Formula One sports boss Ross Brawn has explained that the topic of cost recovery is a very flexible one.” It would be naive to think that we are laying down financial rules and that is the end of the case.”Rather, Liberty Media is in constant dialogue with the teams. The British concede, however, that bringing all ten competitors to one denominator is a challenge. Because every racing stadium has its own interests.
Teams like McLaren or Racing Point demand a fairer distribution of money, because only Mercedes could book a profit in the previous year.” I do not think that the proceeds should be divided equally, but fairly. [Translated with Google Translate] It needs a realistic budget line that reaches many teams with the prize money, FOM money and sponsors,”comments for example McLaren Managing Director Zak Brown.
Racing Point team leader Otmar Szafnauer is of the opinion that the commercial side of the rules cannot survive without the technical side.” It’s a package. I think that all this is connected, the technical freedom, but also how much money can be spent with the cost cap.”His racing stable can use a budget of around 100 million US dollars. This would still fall under the planned cost mountain limit.
“For us, the cost mountain limit is good. Let the smart guys have a chance, not the rich guys,”Szafnauer demands with a smile.”Let the smart guys have a chance, not the rich guys.” They always get the girls who rob them anyway, so the smart ones should also get a chance.”