Racing Point 'sees both sides' of budget cap argument as 2021 limit agreed

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Racing Point CEO Otmar Szafnauer admits he can see "both sides" of the argument over Formula 1's planned budget cap.

On Monday, after weeks of talks, it emerged an agreement has been made to slash the new-for-2021 cap from $175m to $145m due to the impact from coronavirus.

That number, however, is quite a bit higher than the $100m figure McLaren was pushing for, with CEO Zak Brown getting increasingly harsh in his criticism of Ferrari, who were opposing a drastic cut.

“The budget cap initial objectives were a more competitive field and I think with the situation we have now the sustainability, the economic sustainability, of Formula 1 is a priority. That counts as much for the big teams as it does for the small teams," F1 motorsport director Ross Brawn told Sky Sports.

“The message is clear we’ve got to cut costs. We started at $175m, that was a long battle to get it there, and with the current crisis we are now going to start at $145m and the discussion really is how much further down we can drive the next few years.”

Also Read:

That news will no doubt please the Racing Point chief, who had been advocating for the middle ground that has now seemingly been found.

“I can see both sides of the argument,” he explained to Autosport.

“The bigger teams that today spend $300m-plus having to come down to $170m, $150m – or $100m [or] even lower – they’re screaming, saying, ‘Well, I’m going to have to cut a lot of people.

“‘That’s hard to do and I’ve invested a lot of money because the rules were such that if I do invest, I get a better chance of winning. And now you’re trying to take that away from me, that’s unfair.’

“And then I can see the argument that Zak makes, saying, ‘We need a realistic cost cap, where every team could be financially stable, if not even making a little bit of money – what’s wrong with that?’

“So I think the right cost cap should be somewhere in between, and we’re well on our way in everybody negotiating and discussing and coming up with a cost cap that’s either equally liked or equally disliked."

Given Racing Point's experience at being successful with limited funds, Szafnauer told Auto Motor und Sport the team would probably "be the best" on the grid if the budget cap was nearer $100m.

However, he also warned going too low would see the bigger teams simply leave.

“We've got to be realistic and pragmatic so that we don't have a budget cap where some of the bigger teams say, 'do you know what, at this level, I'm not efficient. I'm better off taking my x-amount of world championships and leaving’," he told Sky Sports.

“We don't want that. We want to keep everybody racing, keep F1 in its entirety that it is today. So we should go for a budget cap that either keeps everybody equally upset, or equally happy."