Ferrari threatens to quit F1 if cap is further reduced

Michelle Foster
Mattia Binotto 2020 pa

Mattia Binotto 2020 pa

Ferrari has threatened to quit Formula 1 if the sport lowers the agreed upon budget cap to less than $150 million.

With Formula 1 in the midst of a financial crisis, one that could see two or three teams go under, the sport’s bosses are holding regular talks to find ways to cut costs.

All the teams have agreed to run this year’s chassis next season while also lowering the 2021 budget cap from $175m to $150m.

However, the FIA and a few team bosses want that dropped even further.

They have proposed a $145m cap for 2021, falling to $130m the following season.

Ferrari has said no.

“The $145m level is already a new and demanding request compared to what was set out last June,” team boss Binotto told the Guardian.

“It cannot be attained without further significant sacrifices, especially in terms of our human resources.

“If it was to get even lower, we would not want to be put in a position of having to look at other further options for deploying our racing DNA.”

Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull are estimated to spend in excess of $400m a year with all three teams already facing serious staffing implications to meet the $150m cap.

Binotto said: “F1, we have all sorts of teams with different characteristics. They operate in different countries, under different legislation and with their own ways of working.

“Therefore it is not simple and straightforward to make structural changes simply by cutting costs in a linear fashion.

“We are well aware that F1 and indeed the whole world right now is going through a particularly difficult time because of the pandemic.

“However, this is not the time to react in a hurry as there’s a risk of making decisions on the back of this emergency without clearly evaluating all the consequences.”

He added: “One should not forget that companies play a role in the social fabric of a nation. They are not just there to make a profit.”

The Italian says he fears lowering the cap to $100m, which is what some teams such as McLaren are calling for, could dumb down Formula 1.

“F1 has to be the pinnacle of motor sport in terms of technology and performance. It must be attractive for the car manufacturers and the sponsors who want to be linked to this most prestigious category,” he said.

“If we restrict costs excessively then we run the risk of reducing the level considerably, bringing it ever closer to the lower formulae.”

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