Sauber ‘scared’ of budget cap headlines

Date published: January 24 2018

Although Sauber believe they could close the gap on F1’s big teams if they had the same budget, team boss Fred Vasseur admits a cap could prove a potential “nightmare.”

Liberty Media are debating introducing a possible budget cap of $150m that all teams would have to adhere to.

The big question, though, is how would it be policed.

Vasseur admits this could be a “nightmare” for the sport as accusations of one team spending more than the cap could dominate. And that, he says, wouldn’t be good for F1.

“If we have the same money as the top teams we will close the gap,” he told Motorsport.com.

“But I don’t know if we have to do that by regulations – like with some standard parts. Then the biggest teams will be able to spend the same as now, but only for marginal gains.

“We could go with financial monitoring, but I am a bit scared about this.

“On paper it could work but then you have to see how we are able to monitor it during the season to avoid being in a situation that we have in the news or on websites that Ferrari or Mercedes spent 10 Euros more than is allowed.

“Something like that, for the show and the image of F1, would be a worst case scenario, because at this stage – for the fans – the bad side of F1 is that it has become a matter of budgets.

“And if all together we are only talking about budgets, it would be a nightmare.”

However, Vasseur admits that if F1 did opt for a cost cap it would have a bigger impact on the top teams as the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull would have their budgets slashed.

“If you want to have a cost cap at $150 million, then it will not affect Force India, it will not affect us, and it will not affect a majority of the teams,” he said.

“If you exclude the drivers and marketing, it will be just for the top three teams.

“The best way would be to do it through regulation: limiting the necessary budget to be performant through regulation.

“Mercedes will always be able to spend much more than us, which is fine. But at least you have to give the opportunity for the small teams to be in a position to fight for podiums.

“If you want a good teaser at the start of the race, then it is that [Esteban] Ocon or [Sergio] Perez could be on a podium at every race if they do a good job.

“At the moment you have two Mercedes, two Ferraris and two Red Bulls, and that is a bit boring.”