Aside from the latest McLaren drama the other major point of discussion at the FIA World Motor Sports Council has been plans to limit F1 teams’ budgets.
I’ve always been sceptical about this and when we first did a poll on it here almost a year ago so were two-thirds of you. But with the worsening of the financial crisis and Max Mosley’s plans for a ‘voluntary’ cap, have many people changed their minds about budget capping?
Will the 'voluntary' budget cap work?
- No (60%)
- Yes (28%)
- Don't know (12%)
Total Voters: 1,357
Although the precise details of a budget cap are yet to be revealed, the FIA is understood to be considering a complex ‘two-tier’ system. Under this:
- Teams that do not wish to stick to a budget cap have to stick to more limited technical restrictions
- Teams that agree to stick to a budget limit (potentially as low as ?é?ú30m/$44.3m but likely to be higher to begin with) will have greater technical freedom, including aerodynamic development, engine restrictions and testing
I’m still voting ‘no’ on the poll above – here’s why:
- What’s to stop a new team announcing their entry to F1 after spending unlimited sums on development and gaining a huge advantage?
- How can the FIA expect to satisfy the teams that the competing sets of regulations offer equal opportunity to be competitive? At present we have only one set of technical rules yet only recently we have had an incredibly bitter fall-out over the interpretation of the diffuser rules.
- Will the teams be satisfied that their rivals are not secretly spending more? Particularly car manufacturers with the potential to hide F1 costs in general research and development?
It seems to me the budget cap proposal might work if all the teams agree to take advantage of it. But that’s by no means certain.
Encouragingly, outfits such as Lola, Aston Martin and iSport have hinted they may join F1 if budget capping is introduced. But will the existing manufacturers stay? And if they don’t, could that harm F1?
Do you think the budget cap plan will work? Cast your vote above and leave a comment below.