Budget cap alone won't solve F1's high costs - Todt

Formula 1 cannot just rely on a budget cap to sufficiently bring down costs in the championship, reckons FIA president Jean Todt.

Budget cap alone won't solve F1's high costs - Todt
Jean Todt, FIA President
 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13, Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10, the rest of the field at the start
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 and Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H battle for position
Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 and Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13

Although a defined limit on team spending is being pursued by F1’s owners as a key change for the future, Todt believes it would be a mistake to rely on it exclusively as a means of controlling expenditure.

He thinks that a cost cap must go hand-in-hand with other regulations that help make F1 cheaper, otherwise there is a risk of the concept failing.

“We have been talking about cost control/cost cap for a while,” said Todt. “I believe it is a good move, but for me it has to be a combination.

“We need to make regulations which will have some impact on the actual costs. To simply say we are going make a cost cap, I don’t think it will work. So far, any attempt has not worked.

“We have to be able to agree something that will be more sophisticated in order to achieve that.”

F1’s commercial chiefs are due to sit down individually with teams this winter to discuss in more detail the idea of a budget cap.

But while all teams acknowledge that something needs to be done about costs, there remains some scepticism about whether or not a cost cap is workable.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner is unsure about its policing, which has always been one of the reasons that attempts in the past to introduce it have failed.

But he echoes Todt’s idea that getting other rules in place to limit costs is essential if the cost cap itself is not to come under too much scrutiny.

“I’m not a huge fan of budget caps because I question how policeable it is – because everyone’s corporate structure is different,” Horner said.

“It absolutely has to go hand in hand with dealing with the cost drivers upstream, because the costs are generated through the regulations. That is what determines the amount we spend.

“So you have to deal with the root cause, and then it becomes far less sensitive to be imposing a cap.

“If you put all your reliance on a cap, there is too much pressure on the dam.”

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