Oct.7 (GMM) Formula 1’s bottom-four teams have been permitted to spend an extra $20 million each on improving their outdated infrastructure.
Based on the results of the 2020, 2021 and 2022 seasons, the four least-performing teams – Williams, Haas, Sauber and Alpha Tauri – have succeeded in a bid to be given special ‘catch-up’ spending outside the budget cap.
The complex ‘CapEx’ versus ‘OpEx’ budget cap issue was pushed especially hard by new Williams boss James Vowles, who has set his sights on a big step forward for the team in the wake of the Dorilton Capital buyout.
He said in Qatar that the effective $20m extra for infrastructure spending was “Not perhaps the 100 (million) I was looking for, but a good step in the right direction”.
Despite the increased spending, however, Vowles said the reason he is so opposed to Andretti-Cadillac joining the grid is because some of the current lower-ranked teams – including Williams – are “not financially stable”.
“I’d say probably half the grid aren’t,” he said.
“I think the addition of an eleventh team is a sensible thing, but only at a point where the tenth team on the grid is financial stable,” Vowles added.
“I’m fortunate to have owners that really believe in what we’re doing and to invest in what we’re doing, but we need to take care as a sport to make sure we look after that.”