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Formula 1 Monaco GP

Red Bull: Staff shouldn't "bear the brunt" of F1 cost cap changes

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says Formula 1 team employees shouldn't "bear the brunt" of any cost cap changes.

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, on the pit wall

The FIA is looking to include many more items into the cost cap from 2026 onwards, with an initial target figure of around $220 million.

Some initial proposals by the FIA featured the inclusion of HR items such as maternity/paternity leave and staff entertainment, which faced pushback from the teams.

The FIA has since clarified that maternity/paternity leave is now set to be excluded again from the final draft, with Red Bull chief Horner saying the cost cap should continue to focus on elements that directly affect on-track performance rather than employee matters.

"It's [about] finding a balance between what are exclusions and what is included within that higher number," Horner said when asked by Motorsport.com if he was happy with the proposals as they currently are.

"What I think is the most important thing for 2026 is that the employees don't bear the brunt of those changes.

"So, I think there's a sensible discussion about what's being included, what is to remain excluded and what actually is relevant to creating performance.

"For example, does a Christmas party actually make your car go faster? Now, if that is to be included in the cap, of course, every technical director is going to want a front wing as opposed to a Christmas party, which is a bit tight.

"I'm not saying that our technical director doesn't like Christmas parties, but he likes front wings...

"So it's finding that kind of balance where the employees aren't the ones that bear the brunt of this.

"But I think, by and large, it's been a very productive and sensible discussion."

The Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber pit crew prepare for pit stop practice

The Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber pit crew prepare for pit stop practice

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Sauber representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi felt there should also be a mechanism to take the cost of living into account across the different countries the 10 teams are based, with the Hinwil squad being located in Switzerland where life is more expensive than in the UK or Italy, requiring higher wages.

"The target will be to avoid areas that can have different interpretation from the teams, especially the definition of F1 or non-F1 activities," he said.

"For teams like ourselves it will be important to introduce an element that can equalise differences in terms of cost of living, because of course there is a kind of discrepancy between the cost in Switzerland and in other countries.

"I think that we should put all the teams at the same level, at least as a starting point, and so the difference will be the ability of the people and the quality of the work, not other factors that can negatively affect this starting point."

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