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F1 teams agree in principle to $30m driver salary cap

The Formula 1 teams have agreed in principle to a driver salary cap which is set to come into effect from 2023.

While the final number has not yet been confirmed, the initial plans are to cap the combined salary of both drivers to $30 million.

The plans are part of ongoing efforts by Formula 1 to limit spending in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the budget cap set to be introduced from the start of the 2021.

The teams met on Monday and the plans received the initial backing of the 10 teams, although they will need to be ratified by the motorsport council.

Lewis Hamilton is the highest paid driver on the grid right now and has not agreed to extend his stay beyond the end of this season.

The six-time Formula 1 world champion joined Mercedes back in 2013 and team principal Toto Wolff has warned that capping spending on salaries could cause the sport to lose some of its superstar competitors.

“The salary cap is something that we have supported,” Wolff said in July.

“I believe similar to the leagues in the US, if you cap the team at $145m with a downward slope, you need at a certain stage to also cap high salaries.

“We have said we don’t want to lose the superstars out of this sport, so it needs to be a gradual introduction from 2024 onwards so that the future generations of drivers end up on a more sensible level, in considering that we have a cost cap on the team.

“This is still my opinion. I think it would be good for the sport. They need to be inspirational, the drivers, and as you can see in the US, the top football players and the top basketball players are still very inspirational.

“I think high salaries are what they deserve, because they are global superstars and they are the best of their league.

“I think it should not end up in a ratio, salary of an individual compared to the team cap, that over certain time is going to create controversy that is not needed.”