McLaren the latest team expecting to breach F1 financial rules
By Mat Coch
Sunday 12th June, 2022 - 1:49pm
McLaren expects to breach the Formula 1 financial regulations with team boss Andreas Seidl admitting his team cannot meet the cost cap requirements.
Teams are limited to $140 million of performance-related expenditure, a drop of $5 million with a similar reduction next season.
Red Bull, Ferrari, and Mercedes have already admitted that they’re likely to exceed that limit, with McLaren’s admission making it the fourth team to blow by the cap.
“For us, as a team that was planned to run at the cap at the beginning of the year, with all these unexpected costs that came up, we are at a position where we can’t make the cap anymore,” Seidl confessed.
“You simply have certain fixed costs in order to start the season, you have fixed costs with the resources which you have in place, the personnel and so on, but you can’t adjust anymore.
“With this unexpected huge increase of costs, mainly on the freight side and utility bills, we’re in the same position as some other teams, so we can’t make the cap this year.”
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has cited the increased costs of logistics and energy, coupled with high inflation, as triggers for the predicament the teams now find themselves in.
He also suggested that Scuderia AlphaTauri is in a similar position, which creates a scenario in which half the grid is expecting to breach the regulations at some point.
A provision under the regulations allows for a five percent breach to be considered minor, though there is a lack of clarity over what penalty that brings with it.
In recent weeks, there has been a push from the larger teams to raise the cost cap, arguing that if much of the field is set to breach it that clearly it is ineffective.
However, there is strong resistance from teams that do expected to meet or even fall below the cap.
Alpine has opposed any increase while Haas and Alfa Romeo Sauber have also made their position very clear on the matter.
In the case of the latter two, neither operates at the cost cap, with their total budget less than $140 million.
“I’m still hopeful with all the conversations that are happening at the moment,” said Seidl of the current predicament.
“Together with the other teams, with the FIA and Formula 1, that we still find the solution which is in the best interest of the sport moving forward.”
Despite looking set to breach the regulations, Seidl remains in favour of a cost cap being in place in the sport.
“It was a necessity for the sport in general, for Formula 1, but also for us as a team in order to take part in Formula 1 in a financially sustainable way,” he argued.
“But also in a position where you can be also then actually competitive on the sporting side.
“It is just a new dimension or parameter which you need to consider in your way, how you complete the year in Formula 1.
“It’s clear, especially in the current circumstances, that the development of the car is heavily influenced by the cost cap at the moment, because of all these unexpected costs that came up recently.”
Discussions are ongoing between McLaren and the FIA, though Seidl wouldn’t be drawn on the specifics.
“I don’t want to go too much into detail about the discussions we’re having there are the moment with the other teams and FIA,” he said.
“The most important thing is in the interest of the sport, to find a defined solution for everyone because I think that’s also crucial in order to make sure that the principles of the cost cap don’t get watered down or whatever.”