Guenther Steiner reveals innovative solution for increased team infrastructure spending

Jamie Woodhouse
Haas team boss Guenther Steiner smiles.

Guenther Steiner smiles while walking through the paddock on his way to the Haas garage.

Haas team boss Guenther Steiner suggests that rather than raising the limit on team infrastructure expenses, overspending should be handled on a case-by-case basis and put forward to rival teams.

Outside of the budget cap, Formula 1 also has a spending limit when it comes CapEx, funds which a team can spend on infrastructure upgrades rather than directly on the challengers they create.

Currently, the limit is $36 million across a four-year period, though Williams boss James Vowles has been vocal in his efforts to trigger changes to that system.

Guenther Steiner gives his take on CapEx restrictions

American investment firm Dorilton Capital purchased the Williams F1 team from the Williams family back in 2020, and Vowles has made no secret of the rebuild mission required at the team starved of funding for many seasons.

But, with this limit hampering Williams’ ability to get their infrastructure back up to speed, Vowles had been calling for a method of increasing that ceiling to allow smaller teams to catch up, though the matter stalled following an F1 Commission meeting.

Steiner, though, believes that rather than a blanket increase to the limit, a system should be put in place where a team spends to that limit, and then presents its plans and reasons for wanting more CapEx spending power before fellow teams in a unique case-by-case setup.

Laying out his proposal, as per Motorsport-Magazin.com, Steiner said: “We have a CapEx limit now. Before anything is changed, someone has to go here and say: ‘I’m over it now’ and ask if it can be increased. And not just ask for the impossible.

“Then everyone comes here and can do it.

“We have a certain amount of money now. Spend that once as fast as you can and then report back how much more you need. That’s much better than just raising the limit.

“Spend 36 million, see how far you get, and then explain to people what else you’re going to do. That’s how I would do it.”

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Steiner believes that if a standard increase of the CapEx limit were to be introduced, then this would only allow the top teams to further strengthen their position, while teams lower down the grid would not have the resources to spend as permitted.

“Then it’s higher and nobody can spend it. Except the top teams,” said Steiner on the concept of raising the cap.

“They come then and have a huge advantage.”

Williams and Haas are in a battle to finish P7 in the 2023 Constructors’ Championship, Williams currently holding that position with 21 points to Haas’ 12.

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