Cost cap policing headache for F1

Shahida Jacobs
Toto Wolff Mercedes

Toto Wolff

Formula 1 is set to introduce its new cost cap regulations in 2021, but Mercedes and Red Bull have warned that “if you can’t police it in the right way” then it will be a pointless process.

After decades of increasing costs, F1 is finally set to reduce spending as it will start enforcing a budget cap from the season after next, which will co-incide with the introduction of the new technical rules.

Spending is set to be capped at $175 and teams will get a taste of things to come next year as it will be trialled in order to fine-tune it ahead of 2021.

However, Merc team boss Toto Wolff says they still need to come up with ways to supervise the process

“The single most important factor is the auditing and policing process,” he is quoted as saying by

“None of that is in place for 2020. If you can’t police it in the right way it makes no sense to implement the rule.

“We need to see a ramp up in resource in the way things are being policed on the financial side and on the technical side.

“This is something we need to address.

“The idea of pushing it one year out looks logical and strategically well thought through, but didn’t gain the traction or trigger enough appetite with the ones that decide.”

Red Bull’s Christian Horner echoed the concerns, warning that “it’s a very complex business”.

“The technical regulations are immature and there are still a large amount of questions being raised so I think what’s getting published will be inevitable technical directives and refinements before we actually get to the 2021 season,” said Horner.

“Likewise with the financial regulations, there’s never been a policed budget cap in F1 previously.

“Having the tools and the infrastructure to police all the different corporate entities that exist, and subsidiaries etc., is no small undertaking.

“It’s a very complex business and everybody’s structure is different.

“There is a lot of ground to cover and even though regulations will come out on the 31st there will still be financial directives and technical directives.

“We’ll see adjustments happen before we get to 2021.”

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