Why there should be a Spending Cap on Teams Racing Budgets
The FIA’s has now decided to not push for a cap on the budget spend by teams in 2015. This is in response to the resistance by some of the biggest F1 teams.
Although there was pressure from the bigger teams to stop the cost cap being implemented, the FIA’s response has not been welcomed by smaller independent teams who feel that spending limits have to be set so as to secure the long term future of F1
In 2013 it was estimated that Ferrari’s budget was £250 million, which even surpassed Red Bulls estimated budget of £230 million for that year. If you then take into account that both teams spent nearly £100 million more than McLaren, and that the smaller teams such as Sauber, Williams and Caterham’s budget was well below £100 million for the season. It is not surprising that there is disagreement between the various teams on whether there should be a cap on budgets or not.
Although the sport of F1 has always been about excess, there is a real risk that to allow this kind of spending to continue may be the downfall of F1.
Monisha Kaltenborn, Sauber team principle has recently said that “As a smaller team, I fail to understand why we are going this way when every sport has to be responsible with the way you handle and work your business.
“I think those times have long gone where you say, if you don’t have the money, don’t do it, she then went on to say “in the economic times we have it is important to show a responsible way of doing business”.
Formula One has faced criticism already in regards to holding Grand Prix’s in countries where there is high levels of poverty, due to the wealth that seems to surround and support the sport.
The real problem that is already beginning to show itself is that the teams with the biggest budgets are going to create a divide between themselves and the smaller teams if the FIA allows uncontrolled spending by teams to continue.
I am sure I am not the only one that never wants to see F1 just made up of 4 or 5 teams competing against each other, but if smaller teams cannot afford to remain in the sport there is a real possibility that this may happen.
We need the smaller and independent teams in F1 more than ever. It is from these smaller teams that less well known, or younger drivers can get their breaks. We are already seeing drivers being selected based on the amount of sponsorship they can bring with them to a team. If this continues to happen the young talented drivers will find it harder than ever to get into the sport.
Implementing a fixed budget that teams have to adhere to during the race season is a good idea. It will help to level the playing field for the smaller teams, and allow them to have more of a chance of competing against the top teams.
We have seen this season how much more excitement can be brought into F1 when new rules are implemented, especially rules that affect all teams regardless of their budget. Just imagine if Mercedes or Red Bull had to race using the same budget at Williams, or Caterham.
Being excessive in F1 may have been acceptable in the past, but to survive F1 needs to rein in the amount of money it allows teams to spend each season. Teams are under huge pressure from investors to win races, and will continue to use as much as their budget as possible to achieve results, and you cannot blame them for doing so.
The only way to curb the spending is for the FIA to cap the budget each team is allowed to spend and then enforce that rule vigorously. I believe that if a cap on spending is not implemented F1 could easily deteriorate into just four or five teams racing against each other. Once this happens what you may well see is a drop in the number of spectators attending Grand Prix’s.
With a drop in income from Grand Prix’s many circuits will not be able to justify holding or afford to hold a race weekend. I am convinced that we will see some form of budget cap be implemented by the FIA, but I am hoping it comes sooner rather than too late.
What we would love to know though, is what do you think?
Should a spending cap be implemented, or should teams be allowed to spend as much as they want to?
Leave a comment below with your thoughts.