Formula 1

F1 cost cap makes big F1 teams ‘dinosaurs’

by Edd Straw
3 min read

Racing Point technical director Andrew Green says Formula 1’s new cost cap and the 2022 technical regulations has made giant grand prix teams that employ over 800 people ‘dinosaurs’.

The lowering of the cost cap to be introduced in 2021 from the originally-planned $175m to $145 – with plans to reduce that by a further $5m in each of the two following years – that is set to be officially ratified by the FIA today means teams like Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari must cut back or redeploy staff.

Speaking in an interview with Formula 1’s Beyond the Grid podcast, Green says there is no need for the team, which will become Aston Martin next year, to expand dramatically to fulfil its race-winning ambitions.

“If you’d have asked that question a year or so ago, you would have said yes but not now, not in the current climate and not with the regulations coming in starting in 2022,” said Green when asked if the team needs to increase to around 800 people in order to win races.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Chinese Grand Prix Practice Day Shanghai, China

“Those teams now are dinosaurs. You’ve got to be small, lean, efficient and I think that’s our strength.

“As far as the financial side of the regulations are concerned, they are coming to us. They’re definitely going to allow us to be able to compete with what used to be big teams because they can’t be big teams anymore.

“They are going to have to come back down, get much closer to our level. We’ve been at this level for a very long time and I think we do a reasonable job at it.

“By no means I’m saying we’re doing the best or couldn’t do better, of course we could, but we have put systems in place and groups in place who know how to work in a cost-driven environment.”

Green added that Racing Point’s expanded factory is not a means for recruiting a massive number of staff to bolster car development – although the team has said that around 100 Aston Martin personnel will also be housed there.

Motor Racing Formula One Testing Test Two Day 2 Barcelona, Spain

Instead, it is focused on bringing more manufacturing in-house rather than outsourcing it, a process that it spends significantly on and that is slower than it otherwise would be in its current form.

“We’re still not planning to fill it with 900 people, it’s a different strategy,” said Green when asked about the new factory.

“The factory is taking the manufacturing aspect that has always been outside of our control. Being such a small team, we have to outsource a huge amount of manufacturing so we’re having to bring some of that in house so we can we can shorten the lead time.

“With a blank sheet of paper, knowing what the rules are now and how we need to operate, we are in the ideal position to design ourselves a factory that is absolutely custom built and designed for the new era of Formula 1.”

Green also believes the decision to put back F1’s new technical regulations, originally slated for 2021, to the following year is an advantage for Racing Point.

Not only does this give the team more time to get its new factory up and running as it ramps up, but it also gives it two seasons running its current ‘Pink Mercedes’ that it hopes will prove to be a competitive car.

“I think it helps us,” he said of the delaying of the rules. “We’d made the decision that we were going to try and make 2020 our ‘performant’ year at the cost of 2021 at the time.

“We knew lots of other teams had set their bias a lot more towards the 2021 regulations and we made the decision with a view to where we can catch up in the 2021 regulations – we can just be fast followers.”

“Now we’re in a situation where the car that we thought may only be good for one season is going to do two.”

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