Top teams set to exceed F1 budget cap this year

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Monte-Carlo (Principality of Monaco) (AFP) – Formula 1’s top teams are all set to break the sport’s new budget restrictions this year unless its governing body revises the current $140 million limit.

Team bosses representing Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull told reporters at the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday that it was unavoidable due to global inflation, including the cost of airfreight.

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) introduced a $145 million limit last year and reduced it this season as part of the sport’s new era aimed at creating tighter races.

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto said: “There will be no way for us to stay below – at some point we will go above.”

Mercedes ground engineering director Andrew Shovlin said his team boss, Toto Wolff, agreed.

“We had a plan, to land on the budget cap and work on it, like everyone else has,” he said. “But as costs, like freight, have come to multiples of that or energy and the effects of inflation, it’s gotten to a point where it’s insurmountable.”

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner agreed and pointed to the danger of cost control becoming a more competitive element than it had ever been in the past.

“We need to do a better job on the regulations,” he said, saying they weren’t encouraging cheap cars.

“Engine regulations for 2026 – nothing is cheap about them and that puts an artificial pressure in there.

“We could end up with more people in our accounting office than in the design office – and we don’t want this to be an accounting championship.”

Binotto added that the regulations allowed for a threshold of 5% above the budget cap, within which a violation would be considered minor.

But he asked: “What is a minor infraction, in case of force majeure? The stewards and the FIA ​​will decide that, but in terms of penalties, (we have) no idea.”

He rejected layoffs at Maranello as a solution.

“I don’t think it’s a good choice or a good choice,” he said. “It’s already summer when you organize it and the profit is not enough to meet the excess prices and costs.”

Asked about the implications of going over the budget cap, Binotto added: “For me the most important thing is that many teams will go over it and it will just be bad for the financial regulations,

“If we get to the point where we’re breaking them, then we’re debating its value… We’ll start debating if the financial regulation is worth it, if it works and will bring everything up for debate.

“We have to avoid that because it’s important to have a cap one way or another. The only way is to breathe, take more time and try to do a better job for the next year.”

Horner added that it would be difficult to find a majority of teams in favor of a threshold change.

“But you have to look at the bigger picture. Is it a force majeure event? I would say an act of war that caused inflation is a force majeure event,” he said. he declares.

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