until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

McLaren dismisses Ferrari idea amid ‘final wake-up call’

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
3 min read

McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl has dismissed Ferrari’s proposal of different budget caps for Formula 1 teams, and hopes “drastic” change is imminent amid a “final wake-up call”.

The global health crisis has placed the 2020 F1 season on an indefinite hiatus with nine races postponed or cancelled and two more in serious doubt, and emergency measures have been taken that include deferring new technical rules to 2022 and reducing the incoming budget cap from $175m.

There is no final decision on what the 2021 budget cap will be, with McLaren proposing an aggressive $100m limit and Ferrari baulking at anything less than $150m and wanting extra allowances for manufacturers that develop parts for rivals to buy.

The financial regulations in place for 2021 make reference to such a scenario but Ferrari wants the development costs for such components explicitly quantified, then added to the base budget cap for the manufacturer and subtracted from that of the independent team.

It believes the financial rules are too vague about the adjustments that can be made to a team’s spending, but Seidl dismissed this need ahead of the next round of talks on Thursday afternoon.

“I read about the comments, that have been made already in the last meeting we had, that it is important to respect the development costs teams have for example that are selling parts to other teams,” said Seidl.

“But I think that’s something which is covered anyway, in the financial regulations, the so called notional value of parts.

“So, I don’t see any reason why we need different caps.”

McLaren has been actively pushing for F1’s bosses to take the opportunity afforded by the current global situation to force through change that it believes is needed to make the championship fairer and more competitive.

Its racing chief executive Zak Brown has claimed that as many as four teams could disappear without serious action and Seidl reinforced that view.

“The crisis we’re in now is the final wake-up call that a sport, which was unhealthy before and not sustainable, has now reached a point where we need big changes, drastic changes as well,” said Seidl.

“The most important thing is that we simply make the next big step on the budget cap.

“It’s absolutely important now with all the financial losses that we will face this year, the magnitude of it still being unknown because so far we don’t know when we can actually go back racing.

“It’s important combined with all the other measures like freezing the cars and so on to survive this year.

“And it’s important for our shareholders to show them that actually the losses you make this year, somehow, you can compensate over the next years.”

As well as the regular meetings between team bosses and F1/FIA heads, individual meetings are taking place between each team, F1 CEO Chase Carey and FIA president Jean Todt.

With all 10 teams aligned that a reduction of the $175m budget cap is feasible, but disagreements on how to achieve that, Seidl said that “hopefully we come to some big decisions soon”.

“It’s understandable there’s a different interest in this discussion,” said Seidl.

“But at the same time I clearly see a commitment from everyone understanding that we are in a big crisis and that we have to make big decisions in order to make sure we protect the teams and protect Formula 1.

“I still hope we make a big step now on the budget cap in the next days and make some bold decisions, because it will be in the best interest, not just for us but for anyone in the pitlane.”

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