Horner: Cost of F1 sprint races "needs to be accommodated" in budget cap

Red Bull boss Christian Horner says top Formula 1 teams like his do not have the financial leeway to run sprint races this year unless the cost cap gets lifted.

Horner: Cost of F1 sprint races "needs to be accommodated" in budget cap

F1 bosses want to trial a sprint qualifying format at three races this season to see what impact it has on the television spectacle and the experience for fans at the track.

The idea is that at Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos, normal qualifying will be shifted to Friday afternoon, with a 100km sprint race on Saturday then deciding the final grid for the main race on Sunday.

While a lot of the details have been agreed, one of the final factors that needs to be sorted is the finances of the plans.

F1 chiefs are offering an extra payment to cover potential costs, including damage, but big spending teams want as much as $1 million extra and a lift in the cost cap.

That idea has not got universal support from all teams, with some outfits fearing that lifting the cost cap will open the door to bigger outfits using the extra finances to fund performance gains.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali is due to meet the teams on Saturday to discuss the proposals, but Horner is clear that money remains an important consideration.

“We accept that cash in for this, that what’s been proposed, doesn’t match cash out at the moment,” he said. “So effectively it’s an investment by the teams into FOM to say: ‘OK, we support this in the hope that if it works it generates future revenue, future interest, future benefit into the sport in future years.’

“But at the moment the cost benefit in terms of income in versus what it costs to operate these cars… if you divide $145m by 23 events, you can see what it takes to operate a grand prix car. And of course, adding in, effectively albeit a shortened race, is just more cost that we’re naturally going to incur the usage of parts, etc.

“So there just has to be a sensible allowance that takes that into account, because we’re chasing £10,000, £20,000, £30,000 savings at the moment to ensure that we’re hitting the cap. To suddenly have a variable like this is something that just needs to be accommodated. We’re keen to support it but there needs to be an accommodation.”

Read Also:

Horner’s view have been backed by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, who says his outfit would have to end up losing staff if it faced extra costs to hold sprint races.

“We are really struggling to just come in below the budget cap, and we’re talking about tens of thousands of pounds and not hundreds of thousands,” he explained. “Therefore we would really like to support Stefano [Domenicali] and Ross [Brawn] with the idea because I think it’s worth trying.

“But we simply haven’t got the margin to go for it and then find out that there is an extra half million pounds or more that we have to find within that budget cap, because that could mean looking at people again and that’s not where I want to go any more, at all.”

McLaren CEO Zak Brown said he was confident an agreement could be found that helped cover teams’ costs without opening the door of big spenders to exploit a lift in the cost cap.

“Sprint racing/sprint qualifying will cost more money and can cost significant more money if there’s accident damage,” he said. “I think there are some different proposals on the table. We just need to make sure that we address that specific issue and that we don’t put a rule in place that creates an opportunity that starts expanding the budget cap that we’ve all agreed to. So I’m confident that we’ll figure that out.”

shares
comments

Related video

Why Hamilton has taken action on human rights

Previous article

Why Hamilton has taken action on human rights

Next article

Pirelli would have been "stupid" not to use more robust 2021 tyre

Pirelli would have been "stupid" not to use more robust 2021 tyre
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Jonathan Noble
Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash Plus

Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas' collision at Imola on Sunday prompted fury in the Formula 1 paddock. But Russell's carefully-worded heartfelt statement later, acknowledging that his initial response was wrong, proved the right move

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight Plus

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight

In Max Verstappen's Formula 1 career to date, he has been cast as the 'pretender', an acknowledged top-line performer without the car to regularly challenge Lewis Hamilton. But that no longer applies in 2021, and the start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the most telling signal yet of what we can expect from their duel this year

Formula 1
Apr 21, 2021
How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Plus

How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari Plus

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari

Ninety years ago, Rudolf Caracciola became the first non-Italian to win the epic Mille Miglia. We look at how he stacks up to the most famous pre-war ace Tazio Nuvolari, one of the drivers he beat on that day in 1931

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021