Formula One has presented its long-term roadmap for budget reduction to the teams, with a decision expected next week. It is understood that figures include a cap set for $145m in 2021, coming down to $140m in 2022 and then to $135m for 2023-25.
The targeted numbers are seen as acceptable to midfield teams such as McLaren but agreement is far from a given, with potential pushback at the scale of the proposed cuts possible from Ferrari and Red Bull.
On Monday the F1 sporting director, Ross Brawn, announced that new proposals had been sent to the teams. Last year a cap of $175m (£142m) was agreed for 2021. The financial impact of races being called off because of coronavirus has forced the sport to readdress the issue.
Brawn believes F1, the FIA and the teams were close to coming to an agreement for 2021 but noted the intent was for greater cuts without publicly offering any details. “The discussion really is how much further down we can drive it in the next few years,” he said. It is believed the $145m ceiling has broad support but the other figures under discussion are likely to prove more contentious.
McLaren’s chief executive, Zak Brown, has warned F1 could lose up to four of its 10 teams if the impact of coronavirus is not handled correctly and that F1 should use this as a chance to ensure the sport remains sustainable in future.
Ferrari, however, have opposed a drop below $145m, warning it was already a demanding request below which the team would be forced to consider how it employs its racing resources. Ferrari’s team principal, Mattia Binotto, also fears that too great a cap would risk devaluing the sport’s reputation for technical excellence as the pinnacle of motorsport. He is in favour of a two-tier cap to reflect the higher spending of the bigger teams on manufacturing parts, however this two-tier approach is not in the proposal, which may also prove a stumbling block.
Similarly Red Bull’s team principal, Christian Horner, has also opposed any imminent cap below $145m. Earlier in April a meeting with the teams to discuss a proposed drop to $130m in 2022 failed to reach any agreement. However, recent regulation changes by the FIA mean that unanimity of agreement across the teams is no longer required and the proposals can be adopted with a majority in the face of opposition.