While many big-name Formula One teams aren’t all that happy about the new cost caps being implemented in 2021, there’s one team that’s not happy with the restrictions for a completely unexpected reason. Ferrari doesn’t think the caps are going to be strict enough.
If you need a refresher, F1 teams will only be allowed to spend $175 million per season in 2021, not including driver salaries or engine development. Basically, if you spend money on car performance, that counts toward the budget cap. Aside from engines. That, apparently, is different.
But in Ferrari’s eyes, $175 million is still far too generous. In fact, Ferrari believes that F1 will eventually die if the series doesn’t start enhancing its economic viability, Autosport reports. Here’s more:
“I think we’ve reached a relatively good compromise in terms of the cost cap, which today applies to the chassis,” [Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri] said.
“We’ve been in favour of it because we think it’s good for the economic sustainability of Formula 1. In time that budget cap should encompass more of the car, the power units, the drivers as well, various other things, because ultimately if the sport is not economically viable, it’s slowly going to die.
“So, we viewed it as our responsibility to ensure that it will be economically viable, and in doing so, I have to say that we have and others, that we principally have made certain sacrifices, so that the smaller teams would get more money.”
In the past, F1 was notorious for cutting deals with individual teams—little monetary bonuses or structural changes that would appease one specific team only. Ferrari was often one of them; as a heritage team, it received extra funding to ensure it would continue in the sport. Despite not winning a championship since 2008, that heritage funding still ensured Ferrari remained the highest-paid team. Those little bonuses have been cut going into 2021.
Strangely, Ferrari seems okay with that. It seems to be looking at the big picture: it’s better for F1 in the long run if all teams have a more economic footing. It almost sounds kind of noble.
Until you remember that Ferrari is also getting ready to spend millions of dollars more than usual during 2020 to get a leg up on the competition before they have to start reigning it in. Camilleri is predicting a “record year” in terms of spending in 2020. Better to drop a few extra million now before it’s time to join the rest of the grid in paring things down.