Formula 1 teams received the official cost cap proposals from owners Liberty Media and the FIA on Tuesday morning.
With a backdrop of continuing disagreement between the teams about where the cost cap should be set, the proposal is for the $145million of 2021 to be glided down to £135million for 2023/24/25 – with an interim of $140m in 2022.
Ferrari has been the most critical of going below $145million, fearing that it could require redundancies and that it could put the team at a competitive disadvantage to teams not manufacturing their own engines. The initial glide-down being discussed was over a two-year period.
Extending that to three years, giving more time to make the required adjustments to personnel and facilities is the Liberty/FIA response to accommodate Ferrari’s concerns.
McLaren has been pushing hard for a more aggressive cut but a spokesperson has described the proposal now on the table as ‘acceptable’.
The teams will now vote on the proposal – and if a minimum of six of the 10 teams vote in favour, the cap will be enshrined in the regulations for 2021-23.
Given the positions of the two teams at the opposite ends of the discussion, it looks likely to be voted through.
There will still be scope for the cap to be reviewed further and the current intention is to look at lowering it further from 2026.
The caps exclude driver salaries, marketing, engine manufacture and the salaries of the top three highest-paid employees (other than the drivers).
Making these exclusions, the estimates of 2019 spends for the top three teams were at or in excess of $200m. McLaren and Renault operated at budgets close to the proposed 2021 cap, with the remainder all well below at between $90-120million.