Set to be introduced in 2021, Formula 1 could see its $175 million cost cap come down to as little as $100 million after the most recent round of crisis talks on Monday.
The meeting, which took place via teleconference between F1’s team principals, Liberty Media’s Chase Carey and Ross Brawn, and FIA president Jean Todt, was set-up to discuss all manner of issues relating to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the sport.
Per a report from motorsport.com, the only firm conclusion to come out of the talks was Todt’s insistence that the new technical regulations (postponed to 2022) would not be delayed any further, while the main topic of discussion was how much further the budget cap could be reduced, and how research and development costs would be factored into it.
As things stand, all ten teams are believed to have an ‘informal agreement’ in place to reduce the cap to $150 million, but several teams — led by McLaren — are pushing for it to be lowered even further.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there has been pushback from the ‘big three’ teams — Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari — who raised several concerns, most notably that consideration for the parts they supply to customer teams must be taken into account.
Where prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus the big three would have been conducting R&D for such parts this year while it is still un-capped, now they will be doing so with the financial restrictions in place, and want to ensure that they are not alone in shouldering the burden
As such, they are believed to be asking that the costs of R&D for such parts be shared by adding to the base cap number for suppliers, and subtracting from the number for customers, ensuring the latter does not have more budget-room to use on their own car.
In response, it was agreed that further research would be conducted ahead of the next discussion, although should the cost cap shrink by as much as $75 million from its original figure, it is unlikely the big three will allow it to be put-off for much longer.