What’s the first, most obvious, and most sensible thing to do when handed a budget that’s going to go into effect in the near future? If you answered “throw egregious amounts of money into a giant pile and light it on fire just for the hell of it,” then you might just be a Formula One team staring down the barrel of 2021's cost caps.
In what is quite possibly a peak F1 move, the series has implemented spending caps to accompany the brand new 2021 regulations without actually including a clause that says you can’t just spend three times as much money in 2020 and develop your car a year early. Nice.
There are still some areas that apparently will be restricted, like wind tunnel testing and CFD, Motorsport.com reports. But team bosses like Red Bull Racing’s Christian Horner is totally confident that nothing will stop them from finding plenty of other loopholes:
“Now the 2021 regulations are clear, we have an advanced team starting to investigate those regulations,” he said.
“It makes it an incredibly expensive year because we are developing under two types of regs and before the new financial cap comes in as well. So 2020 will be an expensive and busy year, certainly off track and on track.”
Nice! Nice nice nice nice nice!!!
The whole point of the regulations is, y’know, to prevent big-spending teams from dropping 900 times the money of their B-class competitors on new cars in order equal out the field a little bit. Basically, we’re just going to live yet another season where Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull dominate and where Williams continues to get even more depressing as the days go by. Cool!
I can’t say it’s unexpected, but I can still be disappointed in the terrible loopholes of capitalism—and also the ridiculous rulebooks that keep letting big-name teams come out on top.
If anyone has any ideas for, like, actual cost caps or the whole “holding teams accountable for throwing stupid amounts of money into a bonfire in the name of speed” then I’m all ears! Until then, it seems like it’s going to be the same bullshit, different year.