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F1 | Christian Horner says meeting F1 cost cap was a 'significant challenge'

Red Bull Racing's Team Principal Christian Horner has highlighted the impact of the cost cap recently implemented in F1.

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F1  | Christian Horner says meeting F1 cost cap was a 'significant challenge'
Fuente imagen: Hasan Bratic Motorlat

Red Bull Racing’s Team Principal Christian Horner has stated that the requirement of having to meet Formula 1’s new budget cap for 2021 has been a “significant challenge” albeit one he feels they have dealt with well. Over at McLaren, Andreas Seidl, the team boss of the Woking-based racing outfit, made clear the cost cap is one his team welcomes. Time will tell as to what impact this has but the reductions are not going away anytime soon.   

In the 2021 F1 season, the pinnacle of motorsport will be making a radical change financially. As the sport endeavours to become more sustainable, all teams on the current F1 grid have agreed to reduce the budget cap by $30 million dollars. At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted revenue, sponsorship and so much more – the maximum amount teams can spend in 2021 (not including driver contracts) is $145 million.

For those watching the latest season of Netflix’ Drive to Survive, they would have seen Haas’ Team Principal Guenther Steiner – by his own admission – wheeling and dealing for anything from $5million dollars to $15 million dollars. This shows that there are several teams already operating well under the budget cap. However, for the big three of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, meeting a budget cap of $145 million is a challenge to say the least.

At Red Bull Racing, Team Principal Christian Horner explained to motorsport.com:

"It's a significant challenge, but I think the whole organisation has dealt with it well…It's about efficiency, something Formula One teams have not been very good at in recent years."

Horner continued: "We've implemented that efficiency by not outsourcing certain parts anymore, and we're seeing a decent reduction in costs. But it's a challenge, and it will remain a challenge to get there. But for Formula 1 as a whole it has quite an impact on costs."

The discussion of the cost-cap was also commented on by McLaren F1 boss Andreas Seidl. However, his response outlined the preparation that the Woking-based outfit has already made:

"It's not a secret that we were welcoming this budget cap coming in this year, because it ensures, for a team like McLaren, that we can do Formula 1 in the future in a sustainable and competitive way," Seidl said. "Our people worked quite hard the last 12 months in order to get ready for the budget cap coming in, because even for us, it means a reduction of costs being required.

As much as Formula One is a source of entertainment for fans, there is a whole other host of people whom F1 is the source of their livelihood and this point is not lost on Andreas Seidl:

"The focus is clear, we want to protect as many jobs as possible, we want to protect the size of the team, because in the end, the people make the difference in this sport…So we really focused on trying to find where we can save costs and where we can do things in a more efficient way. That's still a process that is ongoing, but I'm really happy with the steps we could put in place.”

As much as the budget restrictions are being implemented to make the sport sustainable, there is also the obvious fact that the implementation is in response to financial differences between the teams have escalated to exorbitant amounts:

"I feel ready for it as a team, and quite optimistic now looking ahead for the budget cap coming in, because it brings us to a level playing field with these big spenders next to me." Seidl concluded.

Formula One is not a sport to stand still and following Mercedes’ dominance, change was inevitable. It remains to be seen as to how much of a difference the restrictions will make on track but the intention is clear.

Following the restrictions of 2021, the cost cap will then be reduced by a further $5million dollars in 2022 and then a further reduction to $135 million for the following three years through to 2025. F1’s powers that be intend to bring the field closer together and that can only be good for the sport.


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