F1 row threatens existence of budget cap – Vasseur

Tue, 24 May 2022, 09:00

May 24 (GMM) Smaller teams are continuing to resist efforts to ramp up the budget cap as a response to inflation.

The $140 million budget cap has also become an issue in recent weeks as Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto expressed concerns about Red Bull’s rate of car development.

“It is no longer possible to bring new parts to every race,” he said.

“At the pace of development that we are now seeing, many teams will soon reach the limits of the cost cap.”

A source told Auto Motor und Sport: “If everyone is honest, there can be no further development after the Canadian GP.”

An unnamed team boss added: “We’d have to lay off 50 people.”

Red Bull has dismissed the accusation of questionable spending on car updates, but team boss Christian Horner is now warning that it is in fact spiralling inflation that is the big problem for teams.

“Some teams won’t be able to do the last races of the season,” he is quoted as saying by Auto Motor und Sport.

Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur, however, says it’s nonsense to insist that inflation is akin to “force majeure” as an excuse for raising the budget cap.

“Inflation has nothing to do with force majeure,” he said. “The pandemic was force majeure. Inflation is a normal process.

“The teams that don’t have much room for improvement can react to it very easily – just shut down their wind tunnel and build fewer parts.

“If we give up on the rules now, that would be the end of the budget cap.”

Aston Martin’s Otmar Szafnauer agrees: “If we can do it, the others have to do it too.”

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