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Binotto: F1 risks losing 'prestigious' status with budget cap

  • Published on 23 Apr 2020 12:32
  • comments 9
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Formula 1 risks losing its status as the most prestigious level of motorsport by further reducing the budget cap for next year, according to Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto.

In 2019, all teams agreed to impose a $175 million budget cap for 2021, however that figure is now set to be reduced further due as a consequence of the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meetings have taken place in recent weeks between F1, Liberty Media and all teams to discuss the budget cap.

At the most recent assembly, Ferrari opposed the prospect of lowering the cap to $145 million for 2021, and $130 million in 2022. 

Binotto affirms that F1 must remain as being viewed as the top of the motorsport ladder in order to encourage international brands to join the grid.

“F1 has to be the pinnacle of motorsport in terms of technology and performance,” Binotto told The Guardian. “It must be attractive for the car manufacturers and the sponsors who want to be linked to this most prestigious category.

“If we restrict costs excessively then we run the risk of reducing the level considerably, bringing it ever closer to the lower formulae.

“The $145 million level is already a new and demanding request compared to what was set out last June. 

“It cannot be attained without further significant sacrifices, especially in terms of our human resources. If it was to get even lower, we would not want to be put in a position of having to look at other further options for deploying our racing DNA.”

'F1 must think before it acts'

Binotto said that despite the ongoing pandemic, F1 should resist making major changes without evaluating what consequences the alterations could have.

“F1, we have all sorts of teams with different characteristics,” he said. “They operate in different countries, under different legislation and with their own ways of working.

“Therefore it is not simple and straightforward to make structural changes simply by cutting costs in a linear fashion.

“We are well aware that F1 and indeed the whole world right now is going through a particularly difficult time because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“However, this is not the time to react in a hurry as there’s a risk of making decisions on the back of this emergency without clearly evaluating all the consequences.”

Replies (9)

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  • Harryw

    Posts: 107

    Ferrari only think of themselves. They have unfair powers and extra payment. I genuinely think F1 would be better without them and for payments to reflect Premier League where final standings define rewards and all teams share extra income equally. That way teams can grow and genius is rewarded. Not because you have x3000 tests and more people.

    • + 3
    • Apr 23 2020 - 17:41
  • What Ferrari think and say always has to be taken with a pinch of salt - Harry is right - they talk from a very privileged position and I would have thought that right now, the best thing would be all the teams surviving - not just the top three !!!!!!

    • + 1
    • Apr 23 2020 - 18:01
  • I disagree with Binotto. The limited budget would encourage more prestigious marques to take part in the sport, and might even push for better innovation. The biggest impact could be on the ludicrous paychecks of the elite. But, they might do just fine with fewer millions in their fund.

    • + 1
    • Apr 23 2020 - 20:50
  • RogerF1

    Posts: 501

    “F1 has to be the pinnacle of motorsport in terms of technology and performance,” - but not if the racing becomes predictable and boring. Otherwise, it’s not racing! Maybe in tandem with a lower budget the regs. need opening up for more design freedom so technology and performance isn’t the sole mantra of the money’d teams.

    • + 0
    • Apr 23 2020 - 22:52
  • I'm old enough that I should know but I don't... How did it used to work in the past? Formula 1 managed to produce winning teams from privateers, budgets were nowhere near as inflated. It was considered the pinnacle of motorsports all along.

    It seems to me that even though there were always gaps between super rich teams and the rest, in the past the gaps were small enough that smaller teams could truly compete. Increasing money increased the gaps exponentially.

    I don't know, but it sure seems to me that Formula 1 would still be by far the pinnacle of motorsports (in terms of tech and spending) at 175m

    • + 2
    • Apr 24 2020 - 04:52
    • Never have truer/wider words been spoken.

      • + 1
      • Apr 24 2020 - 08:24
  • Swann

    Posts: 3

    How can you ever trust another word that comes from a Ferrari employees mouth?


    This makes Ferrari look very weak and scared of real competition. When the 'racers' start playing blatant political games to reinforce their positions, its because they are afraid they can't do it on track with a level playing field

    I for one, would not miss F1 without Ferrari.. they are consistently helping to ruin the sport for their own motives and profit... disgusting.. Enzo would be ashamed

    • + 1
    • Apr 24 2020 - 13:32
  • Bilstar

    Posts: 54

    I would love to see the other teams take a massive steaming dump on Ferrari's "prestige" and rub it all over their underhanded, shady, manipulative, cheating faces. I would relish it so much. It would bring me such joy.

    • + 0
    • Apr 25 2020 - 15:43
  • f1ski

    Posts: 726

    What made F-100 so interesting was the creative ways teams could make themselves faster. Everyone focus’s on Ferrari . They however rather than whining found ways to emulate what their competition was doing.
    When being caught MB starts the cheating rumors. Teams now are running on the edge of what physics allow. It is very difficult to create the time deltas needed to pass on the track. Let teams have pit stops let them use an amount of fuel in excess to what it takes to run in normal race mode to allow increased boost rpm to generate more power. Instead of ruling in a socialist manner let the teams have latitude to run differing strategies. Too much fuel use got to cut back run too much power penalties for extra engines. Also make tire choices up to the teams not the tire manufacturer. That strategy favors certain team

    • + 0
    • Apr 25 2020 - 16:01

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