Vettel offers his unique driver salary cap alternative

Jamie Woodhouse
Sebastian Vettel wearing backpack. Barcelona May 2022.

With all the talk of a driver salary cap perhaps being on the horizon, Sebastian Vettel has put forward a different idea.

Teams are now capped on their spending each season, the limit set at $140million for 2022, that set to drop to $135m come 2023.

The concept of limiting what the drivers can be paid has also been discussed before, this topic returning to the forefront recently with Formula 1 and the FIA said to be assessing it.

Vettel, asked by The Race for his thoughts on the matter, suggested instead the earnings of the teams should be capped, with anything over that used for good causes.

“It’s just a funny coincidence that it’s the first time teams can make money with racing in Formula 1 and then something like the salary cap for drivers pops up,” said Vettel.

“Just thinking ‘isn’t that funny?’

“It’s interesting if you follow where it’s coming from, this proposal.

“Obviously we have a budget cap now which pushes the model towards earnings for all the teams.

“I think maybe they should be capped in terms of having certain fixed earnings and everything beyond that should go to a certain pool to do great things with it and have a positive impact.

“I can imagine the response will be that the topic will disappear. So I’ll leave it to you.”

Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton fist bump on the podium. Hungary August 2021

Seven-time former World Champion Lewis Hamilton spoke of the negative impacts on young drivers if a driver salary cap was imposed, since it would harm their ability to repay the financial backing of investors during their career.

“Many of us who have been here have been heavily invested in as youngsters and had to pay that back, which you would naturally want to do, so that for sure could impact in the future for the younger generation,” he said.

“We have to remember this sport has gone from like a $4-6billion business to a $14billion business.

“It’s consistently growing. The teams are earning more money than ever before. We are a huge part of that.

“I won’t be here for a huge amount longer but I do think about the younger generation and I don’t feel they should be capped.”

Vettel added: “I think it’s wrong to have a salary cap, for the reasons Lewis mentioned.”