Mercedes says $150m F1 budget cap "not achievable"

Mercedes says $150m F1 budget cap
Apr 6, 2018, 5:40 PM

Mercedes believes a budget cap of $150million is "not achievable" for Formula 1's big teams, but Toto Wolff says the manufacturer is interested in finding compromises to control finances.

Toto Wolff, Executive Director, Mercedes AMG, speaks to the media
Ross Brawn, Managing Director of Motorsports, FOM, and Chase Carey, Chairman, Formula One
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+
Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Director of Motorsport
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+
Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Director of Motorsport
Niki Lauda, Mercedes AMG F1 Non-Executive Chairman and Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Director of Motorsport
Chase Carey, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman of the Formula One Group and Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Director of Motorsport

F1 bosses presented their vision for the future to teams in Bahrain on Friday, and the figure of $150m has been mentioned as a possible spending cap.

However, Mercedes chief Wolff told Sky Sports in Bahrain that number did not include several areas of spending, and that the biggest teams would not be able to reduce their budgets to that level.

"That number needs to be seen in perspective, because marketing is excluded, drivers are excluded, lots of other activities are excluded," Wolff said.

"There is lots that we do as a manufacturer where we do work for the power unit that is for the benefit of customers as well.

"So that number is much too low for the big teams, but if you look into the detail, we need to work with Liberty and find a compromise.

"That number will not be achievable, but maybe something sensible [can be] – we are all living in the same financial reality.

"When you add all the extra bits that are being excluded, you are probably at a much higher number than $150m, maybe $250m, then suddenly it doesn't look so crazy any more.

"My utmost priority is protecting our structure and our people.

"We have to consider that we have been here a long time, the same with Ferrari, and Red Bull, and some of the bigger structures.

"You need to lay it out and say 'this is our situation, how can we achieve success for Formula 1, how can we cap costs, how can we achieve a sustainable business model', without having any hardship on anybody."

Wolff said he is "up for discussion on any bit" of an F1 car in terms of standardising parts, providing parts that are standardised are not "of benefit to for the fan, for the sport" and depending on cost.

No longer in the dark

Wolff added the presentation by F1's bosses now gives the teams the chance to provide feedback on which areas will be possible and what could need revisiting.

"Before it was all pretty much in the dark," he said. "Now we know what the position is and we can work towards that position.

"Now at least you can properly assess this and say what do we like, what do we not like, what's feasible and what's not.

"We have to assess how we will achieve compromise, that will be our main priority.

"As long as we have confidence that there are good ideas kicking in that will grow revenue, that will grow our audiences and preserve the ones we already have, we are in.

"We want to preserve Formula 1's traditions. It's a high-tech sport, the best racing drivers in the best machines.

"As long as we can maintain that with a solid business model, we are happy."

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Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes Shop Now
Author Glenn Freeman