Formulation One is giving its guidelines a serious overhaul for 2021. Along with cool new vehicles, the rule modifications are supposed to tackle a serious present subject with the race sequence: The huge hole in efficiency between the richest groups and the poorest. Price caps for 2021 are supposed to degree the taking part in discipline, however to date all they’ve accomplished is encourage groups to spend much more, reviews Motorsport.com.
Groups are gearing as much as spend extra in 2020 forward of the establishment of price caps for the 2021 season. Pink Bull Racing boss Christian Horner advised Motorsport.com that he expects 2020 to be the workforce’s most costly yr in F1. Why? As a result of Pink Bull will probably be doing as a lot growth work as doable earlier than the associated fee caps come into impact. A few of areas of growth — corresponding to wind tunnel testing — will probably be restricted, however Horner mentioned Pink Bull is probing the laws for loopholes.
F1 won’t ever be low cost, however price caps had been designed to provide groups with much less cash a preventing likelihood. The highest three groups — Mercedes, Ferrari, and Pink Bull — presently have a stranglehold on F1 as a result of they will spend more cash creating their vehicles. This implies these three groups are successfully assured to win each race (a workforce aside from Mercedes, Ferrari, or Pink Bull hasn’t gained a race since 2013), which nets them extra prize cash and sponsorship alternatives, making a vicious cycle.
Starting in 2021, workforce budgets will probably be capped at $175 million per yr for any spending associated to the efficiency of the automobile. Groups can nonetheless spend limitless quantities of cash on all the pieces else, together with advertising and marketing and driver salaries. Wealthier groups will nonetheless be capable of flex their monetary muscle groups by hiring prime drivers however, F1 organizers hope, they gained’t be capable of acquire a efficiency benefit by throwing countless quantities of cash at their vehicles. Price caps are designed to take away that particular benefit, theoretically closing the hole between the highest three groups and the remainder of the sphere. It might additionally power groups to develop new tech extra cheaply, making it simpler to adapt to be used in street vehicles.
Nevertheless, it’s unclear if price caps will eradicate all the unfairness in F1’s funds. As Autosport factors out, sure groups additionally get an even bigger share of F1’s income due to particular person offers made with organizers. Mercedes and Pink Bull negotiated particular funds in alternate for long-term commitments to F1, whereas Ferrari will get a bonus only for having competed in each F1 season. Granted, this is applicable to groups exterior the highest three as nicely. Williams will get a bonus, primarily, for being an F1 establishment, though it’s by far the worst-performing workforce on the grid.
It’s additionally onerous to get round the truth that F1 is simply plain costly. The 2021 guidelines retain the present hybrid powertrains, that are engineering marvels, however are additionally extremely advanced and costly to develop. That’s created a separate efficiency hole between the handful of engine suppliers, with Mercedes on the prime, Ferrari in second, and Honda and Renault additional again. No less than the brand new 2021 vehicles had been designed to allow nearer racing, presumably permitting smaller groups that put the top-performing powertrain of their vehicles to punch above their weight.