How F1 budget cap is reining in one-off developments

The budget cap has obliged Formula 1 teams to cut back on developing specialised parts that might only be used at one circuit.

How F1 budget cap is reining in one-off developments

That was evident at Monaco, where apart from some brake duct modifications, teams hadn't added any extra aero items.

Most only brought revised steering geometry that is traditionally required to help cars get round the hairpin.

While the lack of aero tweaks was also related to this year's more restrictive bodywork regulations, it was also a function of the budget cap, with teams preferring to spend their limited funds on developments that are beneficial on a wider range of circuits.

"I may not be thanked by the governing body, but it's very much regulation," said Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan. "We are quite restricted on what we can do.

"And the absence of modularity makes it very expensive to do the little things we used to do with all winglets, gurneys on the front wing, this type of thing. It's not practical, it's not rewarding. And because of the regulations tying us down on the precise geometries, it's very expensive.

"I wouldn't be so quick to play down the extra steering lock, it is a far from a trivial undertaking. We have to put the wishbone pickups inside the wheel by regulation, so you can't just do a longer steering arm, you can't do this type of thing to try and get the lock.

"We have to seal the holes around the wishbones where they enter the wheel, not play around where we are not supposed to, apparently. So it's a fairly big undertaking to realise the lock that was always designed in."

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C42

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C42

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Regarding Red Bull and others bringing revised brake ducts to Monaco, Monaghan conceded that they could also be useful elsewhere later in the season.

"Again, it's quite a big and expensive undertaking," he said. "I suppose if you look towards Hungary, look towards Singapore, that's knowledge and possibly parts that we will take forward to those particular events.

"Where else we might need the high brake cooling? We would probably cope with Spielberg, Baku with one slightly different arrangement. So probably Hungary and Singapore, they're typically where you really push your luck. And Singapore, especially."

AlphaTauri technical director Jody Egginton agreed that the budget cap had an impact on the lack of novelties in Monaco, while acknowledging that there have been fewer track specific updates there in recent years.

"I think it's a number of factors, really," said Egginton. "A lot of people, including ourselves, bought a high downforce wing to Barcelona. And that is our high downforce package. That's where we are. So there was nothing else for the moment. We might have another look again for Hungary.

"And then the steering, it's a given, you've got to do it and probably some odds and ends on brake ducts associated with that.

"You can see on one hand, it's got something to do with budget cap. But then equally, I'm just thinking back on the last three, four years, I don't remember us being really focused on anything massive for Monaco, not like back in the day where we'd have all sorts of things mounted on the car.

"Probably, for us it was, that's our package, that's what it is, we think that's a competitive package for this event. So we didn't feel the need to go further and anything new is Monaco specific.

"Maybe it makes it onto the car in Hungary, and maybe it makes it onto the car in Singapore, but it is a long way away."

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR22, Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR22, Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Aston Martin boss Mike Krack made the intriguing observation that teams will have to think carefully about developing a special low-drag package for the Italian GP.

"We have constant cost monitoring, like we have aerodynamic monitoring or any kind of monitoring that you have," said Krack.

"So we have a very good overview, week-by-week where we are, in terms of what we are spending, and what the costs will be.

"And before we decide a new, say, for example, a Monza package, or Monza wing, we know what this is costing us, and we know how much money we will have, if we make it.

"We have obviously some margin in for crashes, and stuff like that. I mean, if we repeat the Melbourne thing every weekend, then we will not do the Monza package."

shares
comments
Horner: Red Bull happy for either Verstappen or Perez to be champion
Previous article

Horner: Red Bull happy for either Verstappen or Perez to be champion

Next article

Why McLaren is committed to ‘make it work’ with Ricciardo - for now

Why McLaren is committed to ‘make it work’ with Ricciardo - for now
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022
How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir Plus

How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir

He’s fast, he’s smart, and he’s already shown he’s not going to let Max Verstappen intimidate him. George Russell won’t say it, but LUKE SMITH says he’s ready to take the lead at Mercedes when Lewis Hamilton moves on to a quieter life. And – whisper it – Mercedes and Lewis are starting to think so too

Formula 1
Aug 5, 2022
The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move Plus

The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move

Fernando Alonso’s bombshell switch to Aston Martin sent shockwaves through Formula 1, not least at Alpine that finds itself tangled in a contract standoff with Oscar Piastri. Not shy of a bold career move and with a CV punctuated by them, there were numerous hints that trouble was brewing

Formula 1
Aug 4, 2022
The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships Plus

The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships

OPINION: Ferrari's Formula 1 title hopes look all but over after another strategic blunder in last week's Hungarian Grand Prix denied Charles Leclerc the chance to fight for victory, while handing it to chief rival Max Verstappen. The Scuderia now faces intense scrutiny over what it must now do to finally become a genuine factor in championship battles

Formula 1
Aug 3, 2022