F1, teams set to compromise over inflation crisis
"We don’t want a championship decided in law courts"
F1’s governing body has proposed to end the current budget cap argument by paying teams a fixed amount to counteract raging inflation.
Although many of the smaller teams insist the $140 million budget cap should be strictly enforced this year, others - including Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari - argue that the inflation crisis could hardly be more serious.
"There’s probably about 50 percent of the teams who are going to breach the cap at the end of the year if it continues the way things are," said Red Bull boss Christian Horner.
"We don’t want a championship decided in law courts, or in Paris in front of the FIA."
According to Auto Motor und Sport, the latest round of financial related-meetings behind the scenes have resulted in the FIA proposing a solution.
"Formula 1 would pay extra money to all the teams, which then does not count towards the budget cap," revealed correspondent Michael Schmidt. "However, the support would then be subtracted from the income distribution cake."
The amount is said to be either $3 million, or 3 percent of the current $140 million cap - which is $4.2 million.
Alfa Romeo had rejected a simple increase to the budget cap on the basis that some teams - like Swiss-based Sauber - won’t even spend $140 million in 2022.
"My budget limit is my budget," he said.
Alpine, the Renault-owned team that had also been opposed to a simple budget cap increase, appears willing to accept the proposed compromise.
"If everyone benefits from it to the same extent, we’re in," said boss Otmar Szafnauer.
Haas chief Gunther Steiner concurs: "That would be a decent compromise, because the teams who don’t reach the budget limit will also benefit."
The proposal, however, is yet to be signed off by Formula 1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali.
"We’re looking at it," a source at Formula One Management reportedly said. "After all, it’s our money that would be distributed here."
1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve warns that the teams may simply be conspiring to use the inflation crisis and the budget cap to make more money.
"I suspect they had already decided before the season that they would look for ways to increase it," he told the Dutch publication Formule 1 when asked about the budget cap.
"They’re in business to win and to make money. That is just life.
"And if you can bend the rules in such a way that you benefit from them, good on you," the Canadian added.
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