Todt ‘cannot rule out’ F1 losing teams

Michelle Foster
Jean Todt

Jean Todt

As Formula 1 debates lowering the budget cap to $100m, FIA president Jean Todt admits even that may not be enough to save all 10 teams.

Formula 1, like the rest of the world, is in the midst of a financial crisis brought on by unprecedented circumstances.

Every time another race is postponed or cancelled, the teams losing between “1.5 and $2m”, putting even the sport’s bigger outfits in a financial predicament.

The 10 teams have taken steps to lessen the damage by agreeing to race this year’s chassis next season and also to freeze other parts, although that list has yet to be decided.

They have also agreed to lower next year’s budget cap from $175m to $150, although the likes of McLaren want to see that further reduced to $100m.

That debate is on the table with the bigger teams said to want concessions.

However, even if Formula 1 does drop the cap, Todt fears the sport could still lose a team or two.

“The only scenario that would require an adjustment after that [final meeting] would be the loss of some teams. Which we cannot rule out,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.

“I hope that we do not get into this situation.

“Then we would have to ask ourselves fundamental questions with the holders of commercial rights, such as: what should Formula One look like in the future?

“In the worst-case scenario, Formula One as we know it today would no longer be possible.”

While the cap is now in place to hopefully save the teams, it was initially put forward in order to level the playing field.

The sport’s smaller teams, though, fear that even with a $150m in play, they still won’t be able to compete with Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.

Asked about that, Todt said: “I understand this position, but I do not believe in miracles.

“The differences between the big and smaller teams must be narrowed, but we must not start to dream. It will never be the case that a small team can compete regularly against a large team on an equal footing.

“We must not lie to ourselves. If we are talking about 120, 130 or 140 million dollars, that is the cost cap without exceptions, for the big teams, the exemptions make up more than 100 percent of the cost cap.

“Now, when the budget cap is reduced, they have even expressed the wish to extend the exemptions. But I am against it.”

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