Mercedes Benz trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin has expressed his worry that teams budgets could be massively impacted if one of its cars are involved in a major accident.
With a cost cap of $145 million being introduced this year to reduce costs, teams have had to save money, including downsizing operating costs to be as close as possible to the $145 million spending limit.
However, Mercedes has raised concerns about the budget cap after Valtteri Bottas's W12 was written off after the Finn was involved in an accident with George Russell on lap 30 of last weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola.
Shovlin explains the issue that the teams now face if one of their cars is involved in an incident.
"The new factor for us this year is that we're all cost capped; this sort of damage isn't really in the plan. Our drivers have been incredibly good at getting through seasons without breaking much in recent years, and certainly, the bill in terms of carbon work and metalwork will be very extensive from that."
"So, we'll go through and look at what we can actually salvage and get the cars back together for Portimao. But it is quite a concern when you have these sorts of incidents."
Shovlin also revealed that repairing an extensive amount of damage could have an impact on spending, which may affect a car's developmental programme in the future.
"If you have a series of these kind of large accidents that are doing significant damage, then that will definitely exceed our allocation for what we have available to spend on the parts; in an ideal world you run them to life, you don't break them, anything that you do break, hopefully, it's end of life or something that is about to be obsolete. But that is definitely not the case here.
"So, it is really a factor of the cost cap, and the money has got to come from somewhere. Ultimately if it becomes a big problem, it can start to hit your development budget. So, we do need to be mindful of that moving forward."