Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global Global

Allison: "Way too early to judge" F1 cost cap impact

It remains “way too early” to assess “any meaningful effect” that the cost cap might have had in making Formula 1 more competitive, according to Mercedes technical director James Allison.

James Allison, Technical Director, Mercedes-AMG

The FIA introduced spending limits for the 2021 season with the long-term goal of making the series more tightly contested by working to limit the leading teams’ ability to outspend the rest of the grid.

It was also hoped that closing the resource gap would allow for more underdog winners. However, Red Bull has dominated the ground-effects era and is enjoying a perfect win record so far in 2023.

This has left the impact of the cost cap to be called into question. Although Mercedes technical boss Allison reckons “many more years” need to pass before a proper verdict can be given.

He said: “I think it's way too early to judge the effect of the cap on tightening the grid. I just think you're going to need to have many more years play out before you'll see the effect on that.”

Allison says all teams got to grips with the spending limits by the end of 2021 - albeit Red Bull was punished with a $7million fine and had its aerodynamic testing time docked for a breach.

The ex-Ferrari and Lotus designer reckoned the cost cap still required some revisions to increase its effectiveness but maintained that its implementation was for the greater good of the series.

Allison continued: “Certainly, in terms of understanding the rules, I think all the teams pretty much understood them by the end of the first year.

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

“Is it difficult to deal with it? Well, there's been a downward movement of the cap, by regulation, which definitely means that there is a harder and harder environment in which to work.

“I think, broadly, the cap has been a positive thing for the financial health of the sport, for the security of the teams.

“[There’s] probably more work to do to reform it and make it a better set of regulations overall. But in that respect, no different to the sporting or technical [rules]. They're all a work in progress and they all gradually find their path as we learn things and as the sport changes.

“But I think it's too early to say that it's going to have any meaningful effect on compressing the grid.”

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer agreed spending limits were “necessary” but the rules’ complexity plus the innovation from teams meant loopholes had to be closed.

He said: “It’s a living entity…However, it's so complex that inevitably, there are loopholes. What we need to do is going forward on the operational side, close some of those loopholes.

“The only reason to close them is so that the playing field is level. Once we have that level playing field and those who have more financial ability can't spend it, then the field will get a little bit closer.

“That's good for the fans, and it's good for motor racing.”

Read Also:

Be part of Motorsport community

Join the conversation

Related video

Previous article Is IndyCar’s top team about to lose its standout 2023 drivers?
Next article F1 Austrian GP: How to watch on TV in the US on ESPN

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global Global