Hans-Joachim Stuck: The budget cap is ‘complete nonsense’ and DRS is a ‘joke’

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen chased by Charles Leclerc. Saudi Arabia March 2022

Formula 1’s budget cap is “complete nonsense” while DRS passes are a “joke”, that’s according to former F1 driver Hans-Joachim Stuck.

Stuck contested 74 grands prix between 1974 and 1979 but the sport has changed a lot since then, in fact it’s changed a lot just in the past two years.

Last season Formula 1 implemented a budget cap aimed at levelling the playing field, that going hand-in-hand with a new aerodynamic testing restrictions sliding scale whereby the team that finishes first is allowed less development time than second and so on.

But it is the cap that irks Stuck.

Calling it “complete nonsense” and “simply the wrong way” to do things, he told Motorsport.com: “Who wants to know if any team in Buxtehude is setting up a wind tunnel and testing parts there? You’ll never notice.”

Formula 1, though, did notice when Red Bull breached the cap, the Milton Keynes squad found guilty of overspending by $2.2 million in last year’s championship. They were fined $7m and hit with a 10 percent reduction in their ATR time.

Stuck reckons rather than a budget cap, Formula 1 should introduced more standard parts, he also wants simple aerodynamics.

“Then you don’t need to open and close that stupid wing and just pull up on the straight,” he said. “You can make sure you can slipstream nicely, then you can show eggs like Verstappen and overtake cleverly.”

Fair to say the 71-year-old is not a fan of DRS.

“The number, if it’s your turn for a second, open the wings and drive up, where’s the joke there?” he added.

Put to him that teams designing their own cars is the very DNA of what makes Formula 1 the sport it is, he countered: “Anyone can construct their suspension and the devil knows what. But the fact that you’re going the same way in terms of aerodynamics is only an advantage for everyone.”

He also feels Formula 1 should adopt synthetic fuel from as early as next season.

“It doesn’t cost a penny more,” he advocated.

“They do the same thing in the Porsche Supercup. You reset the engines and the computers and then it fits. I say ‘fuck, you have to do that. You make a decision and then you see who’s doing it’.”

If Stuck hates DRS, he’s going to loath F1’s latest suggestion

Never mind DRS giving the chasing car an artificial advantage, Ross Brawn and co have now proposed a ‘reserve DRS’, as it has been dubbed, from 2026 onwards.

The retired Formula 1 managing director has revealed the sport’s bosses and the FIA are looking into active aerodynamics “tricks” to slow the car in front, giving the trailing car an even greater straight-line speed advantage than what they currently have with DRS.

“The car in front loses a little bit of downforce and you gain a little bit of downforce,” Brawn told Autosport magazine. “There’s tricks you can play with that. It becomes an opportunity.”

The suggestion has divided fans, the purists 101 percent against the idea, others saying it if makes for more exciting Sundays then bring it on.

But while it’s one thing to give the chasing car a slight advantage, it’s quite another to handicap the leader. What’s next you may ask, sandbags?

Brawn is calling it “raceability” but Stuck will most likely call it complete hogwash.

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