‘F1 budget cap battle was complete rubbish’

Michelle Foster
Bernie Ecclestone

Arguing for weeks over $5 million, Bernie Ecclestone feels budget cap battle has been “complete rubbish”.

Last week Formula 1 finally announced that the 10 teams had reached an agreement on the 2021 budget cap.

The deal, which saw the cap reduced to $145 million for 2021 before falling to $130m over the following two years, has been ratified by the World Motor Sport Council.

It took the team’s almost two months to agree to the reduction even though it is only $5m short of their initial agreement, decided as the financial crisis hit, to drop the cap to $150m.

“It’s been complete rubbish,” said Ecclestone to the Standard.

“They were messing about over $5 million, which is a tiny percentage of their budget, when there’s other things that need to be done.

“When I owned Brabham, we used to spend a lot less than Ferrari and we still won and they didn’t.

“It’s about the people, not the money.

“The money’s become an ego competition rather than a real competition, one guy just wanting to spend more than the other guy. But again, the public don’t care.”

The cap, though, was not the only rule given the green light by the WMSC.

The Council also approved a sliding scale for R&D that will see the top team in the 2020 championship have less windtunnel time than the team that finishes second.

So it will go down the order with P10 given the most time.

Ecclestone believes this is the perfect opportunity to Formula 1 to shake things up and find a way to make the sport less predictable.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to reset the clock,” he continued.

“There’s millions of things that could be done better.

“People watch Formula One for competition. They don’t want to go to a race knowing who’s going to win.

“They need to simplify the cars.

“The engine they have is an incredible feat of engineering, but do the public care how super-efficient that is? Probably not. They just want good racing.

“Gone are the days when you’d start a race with 16 cars and you’d be lucky if half of them finished.

“Now everyone finishes and it’s got a bit boring and predictable.”

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