Todt: I would have preferred a lower F1 budget cap

jean todt

Formula 1 will look to reduce the budget cap figure that will be introduced in 2021 which some believe is still way too high but better than nothing at all.

FIA president Jean Todt admitted at Hockenheim that only Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull will be affected by the $175 million figure that excludes costs including driver salaries.

“I would have preferred a lower number,” the Frenchman said. “Only three teams will be affected or will have to restrict themselves. It would be better to have a limit that gives all the teams the same chance, but that was not possible.”

“At least now we have a foot in the door. This budget cap is better than none, so maybe in a second step we can reduce the amount,” added Todt.

The former Ferrari F1 chief also scoffed at suggestions that reintroducing refuelling would be too expensive, “The cars have become too heavy which is something we have discussed. I am pushing for analysing what it would mean if we introduced refuelling.”

“If we did that you would have a lighter car at the start of the race and a smaller car.”

“When I hear it will be more expensive it makes me smile. When I see the size of the [teams’] motorhomes I don’t think it is the price that will be the killer to introducing it.”

The biggest gripe, about limiting expenditure in this manner is whether a budget cap can be consistently and fairly policed by the FIA and designated officials tasked to keep this in check.

But Todt does not see a problem, “Two years ago, I was very sceptical we would finally agree a structure. Is it the best agreement? No. But I think it is the best compromise.”

He also admitted he was “expecting controversy” over the matter, but added, “I don’t think a reputable organisation can take any risks of cheating because of the risk of damaging their reputation.”

Which is somewhat naive coming from the FIA boss as the biggest manufacturers – including Mercedes, Nissan, Renault, Porsche, Audi, Chrysler etc – had no issue cheating emissions regulations, ultimately to their peril.

Teams and manufacturers, for that matter, cheat in motorsport all the time which gave birth to the age-old adage that “everyone cheats in racing, some get caught”

After all, it is a sport where winning at all costs is pursued relentlessly, where bending the rules is all part of the game.

Big Question: Will the F1 Budget Cap be easy to police?

$175-million F1 budget cap agreed as stakeholders meet