Formula 1 teams set for further $1.2 million cost cap bonus

Formula 1 teams are set for a further $1.2 million cost cap bonus thanks to the late Japanese Grand Prix cancellation, with calendar tweaks helping raise 2021's spending limit.

Formula 1 teams set for further $1.2 million cost cap bonus

The ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic has left F1 in a tricky situation of having to be flexible with its calendar over the second half of the year.

Events in China, Canada, Singapore and Australia have had to be ditched because travel restrictions have made it impossible for them to go ahead, and F1 chiefs worked hard to find replacements.

Imola hosted the second race of the season, a second race in Austria was held in July, Turkey was dropped and then returned, and F1 is set for a November event in either Qatar or Bahrain to take the other.

However, after Japanese authorities decided that its October race in Suzuka could not happen, F1 has accepted that there will not be replacement – which will reduce the number of events to 22.

These changes in the calendar have triggered a clause in F1's cost cap rules that means teams will still get an extra spending allowance for some events going ahead, even though they are not taking place and outfits won't have to face the expenditure of going.

For this season, F1's budget cap is based around a $145 million limit, although there are certain exclusions such as marketing, driver wages, engine development and travel.

That $145 million figure is set if there are 21 races per season, with Article 2.3 of F1's Technical Regulations stating that for every extra event added teams will be allowed another $1.2 million.

That means for this year's originally scheduled 23-race calendar, the limit was to be $147.4 million.

However, thanks to the rules relating to race cancellations, teams have seen the figure creep up to give them some extra leeway even though fewer races are happening.

A clause in the same rule states: "If any Competition in a Full Year Reporting Period is cancelled less than three months prior to the proposed start date of that Competition (or, where applicable, any rescheduled date), such Competition shall be deemed to have taken place in the applicable Full Year Reporting Period."

With the Japanese GP only being cancelled earlier this month, well within the three-month window, it means teams will get the $1.2 million allowance for the event without it taking place.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M, and the rest of the field at the start

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M, and the rest of the field at the start

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Earlier late cancellations for China and Canada, plus additions of events at Imola, Turkey and Styria, and potentially Qatar, mean the cost cap has steadily stepped up - and could now reach $149.8 million for 22 grands prix.

While the difference from the original $145 million may not impact the majority of teams much, as they operate well below it, big spending outfits like Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes are running right at the limit and any savings they can make will be welcome.

The difficulties of operating within the budget cap limit had already prompted those teams to seek some form of exemption for mounting crash damage – especially when accidents are caused by other drivers.

Red Bull said that Max Verstappen's British GP crash had cost it $1.8 million, while Ferrari's damage bill for the first half of the year was $3 million.

McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl has been unmoved by rivals calling for extra leeway because of damage – and he says the financial boost everyone gets from the late race movements should silence the matter.

"We should not forget, which is why I think some of the comments are quite ridiculous, the mechanism that is in place, especially for this year with the budget cap at the moment, that with every race that gets cancelled up to a certain point of time, the budget cap actually gets lifted because that can cause extra costs," he said.

"In real life, it [a cancelled race] triggers some extra costs but not a lot. So the benefit you get from that, and the increase of the cost cap already by that, is already huge. It is bigger than any of the crashes we have seen so far this year."

shares
comments

Related video

Mercedes wants Bottas, Russell futures secured before announcement
Previous article

Mercedes wants Bottas, Russell futures secured before announcement

Next article

When F1 last aborted a race at Spa

When F1 last aborted a race at Spa
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Plus

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Autosport heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Plus

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Plus

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. MARK GALLAGHER ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022