With the rules and regulations due to be revealed on Thursday (October 31), the top teams felt that it would make more sense to introduce the package, thought to be the biggest overhaul of the sport in recent history, in 2022, a year after the budget cap is introduced in 2021.
The thinking behind this being that such a move would prevent the bigger teams spending more money in 2020 in preparation for the overhaul, as well as allowing more time for discussion of the remainder of the 2021 package.
“I think we’ve missed a bit of an opportunity,” Horner told reporters, “in fact I raised it at the meeting last week, where, if you look at it, we have the budget cap, which in principle I think is pretty much agreed. It’s painful for the bigger teams and obviously will prevent the bigger teams from spending beyond that 175 million cap.
“I think with hindsight we would have been better bringing the cap in first for ’21 and then taking more time to develop these regulations and evolve them and bring them in in time for ’22, so that any development that the big teams undertake would be under the umbrella of the cap.
“I think it’s impossible to bring that cap forward to 2020 because you will never achieve agreement on it. So therefore, my feeling is that a budget cap is ultimately a sensible thing for Formula 1, but the interim period of 2020 with the current regulations we have as teams gear up for 2021 with unrestricted spend makes it a very expensive year and I think it will create a broader gap between the teams going into 2021 as those teams with more resources will simply spend more time in the research and development phase before the cars hit the track at the beginning of ’21.
“As I said, I think an opportunity has perhaps been lost to have that process more controlled under the cap and delay these regulations and evolve them, because there is some great stuff going on, but the car and the concept looks very underdeveloped at the moment and I think if another 12 months was taken to develop that concept and bring in something that works and perhaps addresses some of the other issues like weight and so on, I think would have been perhaps a more beneficial approach.”
“I think Christian said it in a very right way,” agreed Toto Wolff. “I think in Formula 1 we are very ‘actionistic’. Things need to be done immediately and everything is so bad and we can’t continue without deploying a more strategic long-term vision.
“There are arguments that said ‘well, why don’t we put the cost cap forward, why don’t we implement it one year earlier and then start with the technical and sporting regulations in 2021’, but as Christian said, I think they are not very mature, the regulations will need some more input around the cost cap.
“The single most important factor is the auditing and policing process and none of that is in place for 2020 and obviously if you can’t police it in the right way it makes no sense to implement the rule.
“In general it’s a situation that we need to see a ramp-up in resource, in the way things are being policed, on the financial side and on the technical side. This is something that we need to address and therefore I think that the idea of pushing it one year out looks logical and strategically well thought through, but it didn’t gain the traction and didn’t trigger enough appetite with the ones that decide.”
However, at McLaren, Andreas Seidl didn’t agree.
“I think our position is clear,” said the German. “We like what is on the table now, what we have seen last week also, in terms of what’s coming in on the technical side, the sporting side and on the financial side and just waiting now for the 31st of October to see the publication of these regulations and we all know what we have to work to from ’21 onwards.”
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