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Formula One Teams Gear Up To Spend Even More Money Before Budgets Are Capped In 2021

Illustration for article titled Formula One Teams Gear Up To Spend Even More Money Before Budgets Are Capped In 2021
Photo: Dan Istitene (Getty)

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, 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.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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I can’t say it’s unexpected, but I can still be disappointed in the terrible loopholes of capitalism.

This has absolutely nothing to do with “capitalism” other than that F1 is a for-profit activity in general. It’s a basic ‘competition’ problem in literally any format. If you reward people for success and you have a set of rules that limits how they can achieve success, they will attempt to approach the rules in the way they think is most in their favor, period. Hell even without competition people will attempt to maximise rules placed upon them for their benefit.

If this is genuinely disappointing to you and that’s not just something you’re paying lip service to for the sake of a hot take, I honestly and seriously have to ask why you even pay mind to a sport that’s aggressively built around the concept of maximizing every allowance and advantage given to its furthest extent.