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Dispute over budget ceiling: Small teams demand perspective

Stefan Baldauf
Dispute over budget ceiling
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D he situation is serious. The Formula 1 teams are losing their revenue and are left with their own money. McLaren was the first of seven teams based in England to request unpaid leave for its employees. The state pays wages up to a maximum of £ 2,500 per employee.

Haas wants to follow suit. Racing Point is still thinking: 'The team is currently examining a number of cost-saving measures. We cannot rule out anything, as there is still a great deal of uncertainty at the moment about when racing will start again,' said a team statement.

It is significant that McLaren was the first to take this step, which is comparable to the German instrument of short-time work. McLaren is one of the richer teams in Formula 1B with an estimated budget of 210 million euros and a workforce of around 750 employees.

The measure shows how strong the effects of the Corona crisis are already affecting the teams Have been cornered. Further down in the field, one feared even worse if savings measures for the present and a perspective for the future are not quickly created.

The big teams don't want to be restricted in terms of their expenses.

Scope of 100 to 150 million dollars

A large video conference on Monday (April 6th) is exactly about the future. Then the team bosses want to talk to FIA President Jean Todt and Formula 1 boss Chase Carey about lowering the budget cap.

In the regulations, 175 million dollars are currently agreed. A total of 20 items do not count towards this total. Among other things, the driver salaries, the wage coststhree most expensive employees, the travel expenses and the engine leasing.

The moment is favorable. In the hour of need, everyone involved is receptive to cost reductions. At least one should think so. In a last inventory of the team bosses on Friday (April 3rd), an attempt was made to come back to a common line. However, the fronts remain hardened.

Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes do not want to go below 150 million dollars with the budget cap, and only under conditions such as the postponement of the new rules to 2023. The the remaining seven teams are asking for a maximum of $ 100 million.

One hopes to meet somewhere in the middle. Around 130 million dollars, the amount originally intended by the F1 bosses. However, with far fewer exceptions.

The aim of the reform was to bring the field closer together. For almost seven years now, only Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have won a Grand Prix. The last winner who did not come from this trio was Kimi Räikkönen in the Lotus at the GP Australia 2013.

Even relatively large teams like McLaren are coming under pressure in the current crisis.

Call for equal opportunities

The big teams are warning of a wave of layoffs. But of course they also want to secure their privileges. You are not very interested in the number of winning candidates increasing.

Your opponents counter that many more jobs are lost if two or three teams go bust. Even if the season should start in July or August, the teams reckon with a loss of income of 30 to 70 million dollars from Formula 1 awards, depending on their position in the World Cup.

Big teams can make a hole in the box stuff easier. The small teams, on the other hand, will suffer from the losses of 2020 for the next two years and will have to adjust their budgets downwards accordingly.

The seven rebels are not only interested in the savings effect. The privately financed teams want a perspective. If Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes spend 150 million, but the rest have to shrink to 100 million healthy, that remainsThere is a gap between rich and poor.

'We have to give the owners of the small teams a perspective. The aim has to be that they can compete with the big ones under approximately equal conditions. None of them want that anymore Play a clown and just take part without a chance, 'demands one of the little ones.

Stefan Baldauf
Small teams want a fair chance to fight for top spots one day.

Teams before the exit from Formula 1

Six of the ten teams are led by billionaires. They are the backbone of their racing teams and use their own resources to cover the difference between income and expenditure. This includes McLaren, who depend on the goodwill of their Arab donors. And they only invest money if they see a chance of winning races again in the foreseeable future.

The rebel camp calculates as follows: The further the budget cap falls, the greater the equality of opportunity and the greater the motivation for Team owners like Lawrence Stroll, Finn Rausing, Gene Haas or McLaren's shareholders from Bahrain stay on the line.

The top teams, on the other hand, prefer to focus on immediate savings. You want to present further savings proposals at the budget summit on Monday in order to prevent a drastic lowering of the cost cap.


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