Steiner: ‘Big teams wanted more, small teams wanted nothing’

Jon Wilde
Guenther Steiner makes a point to Mattia Binotto. Red Bull Ring July 2022.

Guenther Steiner makes a point to Mattia Binotto during a press conference. Red Bull Ring July 2022.

Guenther Steiner says the recently-agreed “compromise” over F1’s revised 2022 budget cap was exactly that – because it left no team particularly happy.

During a meeting of the F1 Commission at the Austrian Grand Prix, it was agreed to increase this year’s spending limit of $140million for each team by 3.1% due to the high level of inflation that has gripped the global economy. The figure will be compounded for subsequent seasons.

Of course, this suits the bigger teams more because they have had to make widespread adjustments to their operations to comply with the cost cap since it was introduced for 2021.

With everyone naturally fighting their own corner within the discussions, finding a resolution would not have been easy – and Haas team principal Steiner indicated the middle ground eventually trodden was not really where anyone had wanted to be.

“Pleased there was an outcome,” said Steiner at a press conference. “I think the meeting took a while but in the end we found a compromise, which is always good.

“So the compromise was that we are all not really happy about it, but we move on. And that is the most important for Formula 1 in general.

“Obviously the big teams wanted more, the small teams wanted nothing and the compromise was in the middle. But I think it shows, again, in the end we work together.”

Toto Wolff laughs next to Guenther Steiner. Baku June 2022.
Toto Wolff laughs next to Guenther Steiner at a press conference. Baku June 2022.

With Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff sitting over to his right, Steiner added: “We fight…normally it’s Toto fighting everybody, but he had a few colleagues with him this time that fought with him, normally the people which he fights, but anyway it was a good meeting and we move on.”

Wolff concurred with Steiner’s assessment and said: “Too little for the big teams, I guess, because energy prices, inflation and freight are skyrocketing, but too much for the small team.

“So, like Guenther said, nobody’s really happy and I guess that’s a good outcome.”

Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto, the team principal sitting in the middle at the press conference, said a solution had been necessary as inflation meant some teams would inevitably exceed the cost cap.

“I think in terms of timing, we were really borderline,” said Binotto. “Some teams were already in breach of the budget cap this year and to find a compromise was important. So I would say thanks to the smallest team because they have been comprehensive and constructive.

“Certainly as a big team you are always looking for more, but I think this compromise is good enough to give us a brief and a new target, a new challenge, affording what was the unexpected situation of this season on which we could not have somehow really afforded the budget cap.

“It will be tight, but positive that we [have] come to a decision.”