Romain Grosjean: Budget cap introduction second only to the Halo device

Sam Cooper
Christian Horner, Red Bull, speaks to reporters. Mexico, October 2022.

Red Bull principal Christian Horner speaks to the media in a press conference. Mexico, October 2022.

Romain Grosjean has hailed the budget cap as the best Formula 1 invention in history behind only the Halo device that saved his life.

For the first time, teams were restricted in 2021 to a $145m cap on their spending with almost the entire F1 operation now part of the budget.

There is a small list of expenditures that fall outside of the budget such as driver salaries and the wages of the three highest-paid staff members but for the most part, everything is now being scrutinised by the FIA.

With the introduction in 2021, the first results of the year’s spending was revealed in late 2022 when it was found that both Red Bull and Aston Martin had to varying degrees broken the cap.

Red Bull were adjudged to have committed a minor overspend and as a result were handed a $7 million fine and a 10% reduction of their 2023 wind tunnel time while Aston Martin’s procedural breach earned them a fine of $450,000.

The budget cap was introduced with the idea that it would bring teams closer together and prevent the likes of Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes vastly outspending their rivals.

While it has had its critics such as Christian Horner who argued the cap was too low, to others who believe the bigger teams had such a head start anyway that it will be years before the true effect is felt, one person who is in support of the new rules is Grosjean.

The Frenchman left Haas and F1 the year before the budget cap was introduced but has hailed it as the greatest addition to the sport, only behind the Halo safety device that saved his life.

“The budget cap is the best idea in the history of F1 after the Halo,” Grosjean told Gazzetta dello Sport. “Having said that, tougher measures would be needed if it is violated.”

Grosjean was referring to Red Bull and although the FIA admitted that their overspend would have been just $500k had a tax credit been applied properly, the former Haas man argued that any additional spending can be an advantage.

“Even if the final figure attributed to Red Bull is lower than that assumed at the beginning, a few million can make the difference,” the 36-year-old said.

“If the penalty is light for a few million, tomorrow another team could think of going over by six or 10 million.” he concluded.

Read more: Ferrari follow in Aston Martin’s footsteps by announcing car launch date for 2023