Fernando Alonso says a cap on the salaries of drivers is not needed as the sport’s demands on them continue to rise.
With a budget cap being introduced for the first time last season, it was only a matter of time before attention turned to the salaries of the drivers.
Currently, drivers’ pay is not included in the $140million cap, but some within and outside of the sport have argued it is time a cap is introduced.
If driver salaries were to be incorporated into the budget, it would represent a hefty portion of that. Lewis Hamilton reportedly earns $62million while Max Verstappen signed a new contract earlier this year reportedly worth $53million per season.
One driver against such a cap is Alpine’s Alonso, who said the demands of the sport are ever-increasing.
“I don’t think it’s needed,” Alonso said, as reported by Motorsport.com.
“Drivers have been always outside this topic and I think the drivers, they are using us more and more to promote Formula 1. We do more and more events, we are more in contact with the fans.
“They are asking more and more from us and they are benefiting from that. So we should be outside from that cap. It’s very complicated.”
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Verstappen’s manager, Raymond Vermeulen, has been strong in his opposition of the proposed cap, going as far as to call it “illegal.”
“Total idiocy,” he has been quoted as having told De Telegraaf.
“Drivers increase the value of a team and to then give whoever you buy that value from – the driver – a limit, it means the world is upside down.
“Take a look at the facts. A grand prix came to the Netherlands thanks to Max. Zandvoort pays an annual amount to FOM to organise the race, a large part of which is divided among the teams. So they benefit from that.
“It would then be very strange if you were to limit only the driver’s earnings model.
“They [Red Bull] are also very firm they will never support it.
“You need these investors and sponsors who invest in talent and want to be associated with that driver for a long time.
“A salary cap will affect the entire sport.”
One team boss in favour of the cap is Alfa Romeo’s Frederic Vasseur, who said finding common ground is “important for the sport”.
“This will probably be the next topic on the table,” he said. “It has to come together between drivers and key personnel, for sure.
“I think it’s the right approach to try to co-ordinate it with the budget and to have perhaps an allowance for this. You could overshoot the limit and you would have to take part of your budget cap, I don’t know, but we have to find something like this because it’s important for the sport.
“And I think at the end of the day it makes also sense for the competition. I’m more than pleased to go in this direction.
“F1 is in a very good shape today. It’s in good shape because the show is going up and also because the FIA and FOM took the right decisions in the last couple of years, but I think we have to continue in this direction.”