FIA aims to get all teams to cap budgets using one-sided regulations

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Budget-capped KERS users will get a bigger boost in 2010

The publication today of the FIA’s budget cap plan for 2010 shows it intends to get every team competing under the spending limit.

Rather than offering technical regulation that would allow cost-capped teams to compete on parity with the unlimited spenders, it seems to me the rules for next year would favour those sticking to the spending limit.

They will have no rev limit on their engines, a KERS with twice the power of their rivals, more adjustable wings and the ability to develop four-wheel-drive if they choose.

Since Max Mosley first mooted the possibility of a ‘voluntary’ budget cap there has been widespread suspicion about how his plan for a ‘two-tier’ F1 could work.

Rather than making budget capping mandatory, the FIA has to offer it as a voluntary option, as it cannot assume the right to inspect the teams’ finances without their permission.

The publication of the new rules today strongly suggests Mosley intends to make the alternative to the budget cap too unappealing for anyone to consider. Here are the advantages that capped teams will be entitled to under the 2010 rules:

Non-capped teams Capped teams
Adjustable front wings Maximum six-degree adjustment twice per lap Maximum ten-degree adjustment any number of times per lap
Adjustable rear element Not permitted Permitted
Engine performance 18,000rpm maximum No rpm limit
KERS power in Max. 60kW No limit
KERS power out Max. 60kW Max. 120kW
KERS energy release per lap Max. 400kJ Max. 800kJ
Transmission No more than two driven wheels Any number of driven wheels
KERS power delivery May only power the rear wheels May power any wheels
Wind tunnel use Limited Unlimited
Testing Limited testing outside racing season Unrestricted
Engines and gearboxes Limited number per season No limit

Source: FIA technical and sporting regulations, 2010

As an extra incentive to comply, the teams have been set a deadline of May 29th to apply to compete in 2010. The total number of entries that may be accepted has been increased to 13 two-car teams. But what is there to stop the FIA from selecting only those teams that prefer the budget capping option?

Several new outfits have already expressed interest in doing so: chassis builder Lola, David Richards’ Prodrive operation, and GP2 team iSport.

As the new cost cap is likely to force most of the teams to make large number of redundancies, these new teams may at least provide some places for out-of-work engineers to go.

The �40m limit ($59.18m / ?����?�44.73m) will not include engine costs (2010 only), driver salaries, marketing and FIA fines.

Do you think the FIA intends to make budget capping too good an offer to refuse? Will any teams opt for unlimited spending? Have your say in the comments.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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101 comments on “FIA aims to get all teams to cap budgets using one-sided regulations”

  1. To be honest I quite like the capped regs, and it’s a clear move on the FIA behalf to entice all teams to move to it.

  2. capped / non capped headings are the wrong way around i think :)

    1. Fixed :-)

  3. Are Capped and Non Capped the wrong way round on the table, it suggests the ones without the budget cap get unlimited revs and more powerful kers etc. Contradictory to the opening of the article.

    Sorry if i have misinterpreted :)

  4. HounslowBusGarage
    30th April 2009, 20:36

    So the £40m cap does not include engines for 2010 only, but may do/will do for 2011?
    Difficult to see how you could plan a team finances on that basis unless you had a ‘free-supply’ engine contract for 2011 already.
    How much to Brawn pay for their engines?
    I love the idea of multiple wheel drive under the ‘capped’ regime. Kers driving all four wheels under acceleration and then completely feathered front and rear wings for maximum straightline speed?
    Could be fun.
    According to the Telegraph website, Bernie is forseeing a 26 car grid next year under the new regulations. Hope so.

  5. I have no idea how they’ll weigh up against each other….but a 26 car grid would be AMAZING.

  6. 4 wheel drive!

    1. 6 wheel drive!!

  7. How complicated. This is all politics in anticipation of the Concord issue.
    On TV you cannot distinguish all these technical things. What really matters for the spectator is if they are racing in the glory of Spa or in the emptiness of East Arabia.

    In general I am in favor of lowering costs.

    No wonder Ron Dennis has quit. This crazy world of Bernie and Mo is not worthy of a giant like Ron.

  8. mciahel.counsell
    30th April 2009, 20:58

    Now the question is will anyone choose to pay more.

    What stops a car manufacturer setting up a wind tunnel company which rents out its expensive windtunnel and wind tunnel engineers at a very reasonable rate to its F1 team which it can use it 24/7…

    1. Now the question is will anyone choose to pay more.

      And if they do, will they get a place on the grid…

      What stops a car manufacturer setting up a wind tunnel company which rents out its expensive windtunnel and wind tunnel engineers at a very reasonable rate to its F1 team

      I have no idea. It seems there must be dozens of potential workarounds like this, though.

    2. The commission overseeing budgets will determine reasonable values for all third party goods and services that the team acquires.

  9. I was thinking that a lot of the other options (better KERS, 4wd) is limiting in itself due to the costs that would be incurred.

    But a manufacturer could well have prior knowledge of 4wd so would be able to develop it cheaper?

  10. I think it’s too low to start with.
    Should reduce it in stages. There is nothing stopping teams competing for £40m. Williams manage with a budget far lower than the big spending teams.

    I like the technical freedom though, may lead to some unique developments like the six wheeled Tyrrell.

  11. so where are the engine’s ,ker’s unit’s and chassis’s coming from one would assume that the big team’s will just refuse to sell there technology to any one else which of these new team’s are going to stump up with money to develop there own version’s.This is just getting bloody stupid first we had diffuser gate then mclaren gate P2 now this rocket powered booster engine,s show me in the rule it say’s you cant have them.

  12. And how are the cost capped teams going to get their 800kj of burst, will the FIA design that for them?

    Does the FIA knows how much load goes into those rear wings? You want to adjust them you will need a very complicated mechanism for that. And its going to cost some money. A minor start line rear ending might make just destroy teams race completely.

    How would a drive shaft get to the front wheels to drive them? Is it going to pass through the driver’s legs underneath the seat or located on one side of the car?
    Who wants do design a steerable front will driven F1 car with so much power going through it?

    With 8 engines per season costing about 5-10 million, how do you get an unlimited set of engines :-)

    This is just MAD Max the school headmaster trying to Bamboozle his kindergarten with his vocabulary :-)

  13. By the way most race tracks I know have garage space for only about 24 teams max.

    1. Tops teams are too big as seen when mclaren went down to smaller garages for 08 after being kicked out in 07 a bit of reshuffling will sort it out

    2. Don’t forget that some tracks have the garages for scrutineering and all- perhaps that would move to a different area and you would have more garages then.

    3. Don’t the top teams get three or four garages each at a lot of circuits though? Should be possible to accommodate them after all series like GP2 and WSR bring more cars.

    4. GP2 cars aren’t in the garages are they? They usually put their cars in tents somewhere on the paddock.

  14. Anyone else expecting Ferrari to give up after British GP build its ’10 car this year then only has to get operating costs and further development in under 40 mil

    To some of the comments above the teams will have to prioritise which areas to develop obviously they cant do them all for 40mil

    1. Apparently they’re only allowed to spend the equivalent of 50% of their 2010 budget developing their 2010 car during 2009, so might not work that way.

  15. The 2010 Sporting Regulations still show a limit of 8 engines per driver for the season. I doubt anyone will push that unlimited rpm too high.

    While the rules open up a lot for the Cost Regulated Teams I can’t see the money left over for four wheel drive.

    It looks interesting for start up teams because of the removal of wind tunnel and testing restrictions. (To build a new car you have to test to gain knowledge)

    1. The 2010 Sporting Regulations still show a limit of 8 engines per driver for the season. I doubt anyone will push that unlimited rpm too high.

      My reading of the regs left me with the impression that the cost-capped teams don’t have an engine use limit?

    2. Keith, you are correct. The cost-regulated teams can use as many engines as they wish however they wish. The trouble is that these engines still have to be the same homologated ones that everyone else uses and they are designed with the 18k limit in mind. As a result, those teams which have customer engines may not be able to use the extra revs without risking blowing their engine up at an awkward moment (such as in the middle of the race).

  16. Robert McKay
    30th April 2009, 21:43

    It’s a formula within a formula. If there was any sort of split between capped and uncapped you may as well denote the two with separate championship tables, because they’re not really running to the same regulations.

    I think we can only hope that all the teams will go for the cap, or to an extent the sport will be very oddly-layed out.

  17. One interesting consequence of all this is that smaller, agile teams with a star engineers like Adrien Newey in RBR, or Brawn, are going to be ahead consistently of many old leading teams like Ferrari, Renault, McLaren, BMW ….
    this is really quite a revolution !!!

    Ferrari might not win a WDC in thirteen years. Then Lou will tell Mo: “Mo, make it that any car with paint that is not all red will carry an extra 25 kgs. of dead weight”

  18. At at still feel hesitant about a two-tier system and hope everyone converts to a budget-cap. It’s ridiculous to think of how Ferrari, Mclaren, and Toyota spend almost quadruple some of the other teams per season.

    The freedom in regulations is quite fascinating for people like Adrian Newey, Ross Brawn, Sam Michael, and engineers to flex their technical know-how which I would incredibly love to see. Also seeing a 26-car grid would be absolutely wonderful.

    But the technical freedoms might be a little too great considering that some teams even with their unlimited budgets can’t get a functioning 60kW KERS unit let alone a 120kW KERS unit. So theoretically, all the teams on a budget-cap will have to decide on focusing development on mostly KERS, Aerodynamics (because of the wind tunnel costs), or engine power.

    I can’t even begin to imagine how a team could possibly develop a 4WD F1 car under that budget. And packaging the front driveshafts into the front chassis without having to remove most of the moveable ballast?

    But I really hope that the 2010 technical regulations change can keep the racing close (Bahrain all 20 cars within 1.3 seconds) like the 2009 techincal regulations change.

    1. But teams would prioritise on which bits to develope and it will be a gradual thing over a few years to get it all there, but we need some stability to the rules soon in my opinion, getting close to farcical

    2. I’m not sure I’d rate Sam Michael that highly — after he took over from Patrick Head, Williams have been sliding steadily backward: the disastrous nose in 2004, and then an uncompetitive 2005 leading BMW to pull out.

  19. I don’t get it.
    You don’t start to design your 2010 car on 1st Jan 2010.
    Will teams have to keep two accounting books on 2009 \ 2010 car designs from now?
    What if McLaren perfect KERS now in their 2009 car? Then they move it into 2010 car with minimal changes. R&D already done, huge saving for 2010.
    How do you police this? What value to you put on effort of parts that span more than one season?
    Do engineers claim they are working on 2009 car parts to avoid the budget cap?
    I still can’t see how this will work?

    1. hey, if an entire car can compete for multiple years, i think that’s just awesome. some of the greatest race cars in history were competitive for several years.

      on a practical note, recycling parts means saving money – our theme of the day. longevity will be an area of developement like never before.

  20. If Redbull agrees to this, I doubt they can afford to bay Newey for his services. Newey may then end up going to design sail boats.

    Lets face it, a team should be able to spend money to attract the top designers and engineers. The driver is just one piece of the puzzle, sometimes, the work of the engineers is more valuable.

    1. How much are they paying him? Must be multi-millions I’d guess.

    2. What if, say, Toro Rosso go for the cap but Red Bull stay uncapped. Could Red Bull Technology advise both teams on design?

      They could somehow get the best of both worlds – Adrian Newey on the uncapped payroll, and all the testing and wind-tunnel work they like for the capped team?

  21. i agree with the idea of greater technical freedom, afterall that has created a lot of this years excitement. i can’t see a true 4WD f1 car, but how about driving the front wheels with the kers system? no need for a front to back drive shaft only a motor and some wiring to the kers storage system. the only thing I don’t agree with is max and bernie getting there way all the time. more power to the teams and circuits!

    1. Thats exactly what I was thinking! Get the Kers driving the front wheels maybe, but I think the bulky packaging up front required for that would negate any advantage thereof. Also it is confusing that engines are essentially unfrozen for 2010 (for the capped teams), since there will be no rev limit, no limit to the number of engines they can use, and the engine is excluded from the cap. Sounds like Ferrari and McLaren may still have a way to spend tens of millions more than the little guys…

    2. Hub motors for the Kers are feasible in theory (and very efficient), but surely in an F1 car the need for brake cooling and the ultimate in controllable handling would make them undesirable…

  22. I don’t think that any team will NOT enter under the limited-budget rule. It’s just too tempting.
    Where does all the money go at the moment? Mostly into aero development, and those rules won’t change that much. And as the rules regarding aerodynamics are very restricted (Look at all the teams being so close right now) I don’t think that the teams can gain a lot of performance there anymore. i think that the current teams will take their 2009 aero package, adjust it a bit (moveable wings) and put it on their 2010 car, then spending most of their remaining budget into engine/KERS development. They’ll still have a huge head start compared to any new teams.
    Also, all the money they are currently spending on drivers, motorhomes and hospitality won’t be included in the 45 million €, so the top teams will still spend about 70-80million €. And if their Sponsors keep on paying, they’ll be making profit, and not just a little bit…

  23. If 4WD is allowed, then trust me this is where the teams will spend most of their money. There are sooo many advantages to a 4WD than RWD, especially better acceleration which is all F1 is for.. I like the idea of technical freedom, but this will in no doubt make F1 unsafer, is that what they want? Not that I complain, I don’t have to drive those hell-machines.. Regarding the RPM limit, McLaren was pushing 20500 race-trim rpm before the limitation to 19000 – I could well imagine most teams going close to 22000 rpm now.

  24. There has never been a better time for new teams to enter F1

  25. The capped teams would dominate the rest with those regulations. I don’t like to idea of 4 wheel drive, though, rear wheel drive is more fun.

  26. Fer no.65
    1st May 2009, 1:03

    4 wheell drive F1s possible, then? :O…

  27. Didn’t Cosworth have a 8 cylinder engine already developed? If they can sell it to 6 or more teams, I can easily see this engine revving 20000 or 21000 RPM for 5M$ a year. Add the extra KERS power, a 10 degree!!! adjustable rear wing, where most drag comes from, and I can see some capped teams being 40-50 Km/h faster in the long straights that the non-capped teams. This is going to be spectacular, but a ridiculous mess. Of course, one can only develop so many things under the budget limit, but at least one team has it all in place: Williams. Their Flywheel KERS will be already developed and working, they hold the patent and they claim that it runs for 2M$ a year. And that is the only KERS design able of holding more power by making it work better rather than making it heavier with more batteries.
    And by the way, all teams will have to develop a completely new car. With a 620Kg weight limit and 150+ Kg of fuel in the tank, most of today’s designs will go right to the trash bin.
    Shall we call this a Mess Mosley product?

  28. I meant that the flywheel KERS can (potentially) hold more energy, not more power, of course.

  29. What does unlimited KERS power for capped teams mean?. I thought we were gonna have standart KERS next year. unlimited testing sounds all well but remember it is limited by the cap.

    From the disparity of regulations it seems FIA wants every team to go capped way. Here is a thing I mean to ask, where did FIA get the idea that it owns the sport? It is like FIFA telling Man U how much Christiano Ronaldo gets for salary. If the costs get out of hand, it is teams problem. If gaps between rich teams and poor grow too much, racing becomes uninteresting, nobody watches so no TV money or sponsors; teams problem again. why cant teams just say mind your own business to Max.

    1. No, FIFA isn’t dictating Ronaldo’s salary. But on our shores, the NFL dose regulate how much teams can have on their payroll, so stars like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady can’t make too much. And honestly, it makes the sport more interesting, because the big-money teams cannot just pay to collect talent the way teams teams in uncapped leagues can.

      The big problem is that driver salaries will not be included- this means that Ferrari can still overpay for a driver who will be the key ingredient in victories. Cap the driver’s salaries, and let the good drivers choose between better teams instead of better money.

    2. KERS power is limited for all teams. Cost-regulated teams may use twice the power (and twice the energy per lap) in their units while the non-restricted teams must use the same power and energy levels as this year.

  30. I like the whole concept, but I do not like that driver salaries are not included. I would imagine that is where there is a great deal of expense, and this would help all the teams compete on a more level playing field.

    The tech side is something that is not my strong point, but the political side is obvious- Max is making it very difficult for any of the teams to say no.

  31. But what is there to stop the FIA from selecting only those teams that prefer the budget capping option?

    keith, surely you’re not that jaded, are you? do you really think the fia would turn away a current team?

    THIS is why i like max. despite missteps here and there, he has usually dragged the sport where it needs to be.

    i expect every team to go low-cost by 2011 at the latest. ignoring cost, the incentives are massive, and i don’t expect the current incarnation of an f1 car to be competitive at all.

    i credit max alone (unless someone knows of another) for saving f1 from financial suicide. his cost cutting for 2009 was an immediate improvement, in terms of finance and spectacle. ruthless cost-cutting is already drawing in new teams and the more, the merrier. what sport doesn’t need fresh blood, particularly when there’s a 4 foot tall white-haired vampire in charge?

    max stated years ago that f1 must have relevance to road cars in order to survive, and he was right. only ferrari and mclaren are content with incinerating money on such a highly specialized, highly evolved (and yet highly homogenous) affair. i think f1 evolution is about to be blown wide open, with more major differences between the cars. i see all-wheel-drive as a precursor to fully electric drive and an open engine spec when it becomes affordable to do so.

    some say max was slow to act following the deaths of senna and ratzenberger, but remember where the sport has come from. safety is definitely front-and-center, in every facet of the sport. goodbye gas tanks strapped to legs, paper mache construction, and bales of hay between a speeding car and a cafe full of fans – hello crash testing, survival cells, fuel cells, HANS and more. if anything, i think the regs regarding tracks go too far, eliminating excellent tracks like leguna seca and the nordschlife.

    not only are drivers walking away from horrific crashes, but a mechanical retirement is now considered unusual. how can you do better than that?

    i think the refuelling era was fun, adding another dimension to strategy and action, but the wheel of fortune turns, turns, turns. for what it’s worth, i think refuelling was handled well and when there were issues with saftey, exploits or cost those issues dealt with. one thing i would have changed here would be not having Q3 sessions on race fuel.

    the only reason tire ( with an i ;) ) warmers have made it this long is because they were paid for years ago. the grooved tires were not good, but not as bad as the 1 set per race rule. rather than mandating use of all available compounds, i’d like to see soft, medium and hard tires used as the team wishes during the weekend. one less compound for bridgestone to make would drive costs down a bit, too.

    if you’ve read all that, i’m sorry but i cannot give you your time back. i won’t do it again :)

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      1st May 2009, 8:49

      if you’ve read all that, i’m sorry but i cannot give you your time back. i won’t do it again


    2. do you really think the fia would turn away a current team?

      Whether they would or they wouldn’t is besides the point – they now have a mechanism to do so.

      Imagine all the present teams stay for next year and another five enter – say Prodrive/Aston Martin, Lola, USGPE and a couple of GP2 teams. Those five plus the existing non-manufacturers (Brawn, Force India, Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Williams) all choose budget-capping.

      Already we’ve got as many teams as this year running with a budget cap. The FIA can then pick and choose from the remaining manufacturers depending on which ones choose to go for the budget limit.

      Flavio Briatore has been in favour of a limit so expect Renault to stay. That’s 11 teams. Now, why should the FIA allow in any more that have not chosen to adhere to the budget cap?

      Maybe they wouldn’t force the issue in that way, but it could be enough to worry the manufacturers into accepting a budget cap. And plenty of their board members will be more than happy to knock a zero off their F1 budgets.

    3. Whether they would or they wouldn’t is besides the point – they now have a mechanism to do so.

      just as the aco selects applicants for le mans, but it’s a cold day in hell when they turn away audi and pugeot.

  32. there’s such a huge advantage of being capped it’s as if they are forcing them into it.

    even just the rpm advantage is huge. but a movable rear wing and double the kers. how can any non capped team compete?

  33. FIA is not Formula One ruling body… It’s a dictatorship…

    I’m anxiously waiting for the constructors (FOTA) to wake up and take charge. Then, if that weasel of a man (Mosley) continues driving Formula One to its dead, they can send him to organize go kart races and (re)create the real Formula One – the one that has been slowly killed with rule changes every year, always for worst, the one from the Senna/Prost/Mansell/Piquet/Rosberg times.

    That is the real deal. Now we spend more time and the times money talking about KERS or less down force so the cars can’t turn as fast as they did – the goal IS TO GO FASTER, not SLOWER… Who is afraid, get out…

    I only hope they don’t take too long… There is still time to save our sport from ignorant hands…

  34. 26 drivers mean the point scoring positions should be increased.

    1. No. The current points system is just fine! F1 was just fine when it had only 6 drivers scoring points when there was 24/26 cars on the grid.

  35. i note with interest that you said teams could spend 50% of there 2009 budget on developing next year’s car’s. So half the field after monaco could sign up to the budget teams and do a brawn for next year is it just me or is this turning into a farce I bet you one of the big manufacturer’s pull’s out say the sport has lost it’s technical edge and is no longer at the top end of automotive technology.

  36. Assuming you get your standard engine, gearbox and KERS for about £10M, that leaves £30M to buy raw materials, design and build your cars and pay the staff. Where is the money to develop more complex adjustable front wings, four-wheel drive, etc, pay the staff and then go testing?

    The majority of established teams won’t go for it, and it might actually force some out. How many of you are going to be genuinely happy with a two-tier formula?

    1. So Ferrari leave F1. oh well.

  37. Even if teams are tempted to go for the budget limits, Max can just change the regs the very next season. Even possible that same season, as the FIA reserve the rights to regulate the performance differences. between the two options

  38. schumi the greatest
    1st May 2009, 8:39

    i think it is the way forward…and i think it will bring back the real “racers” your eddie jordans, frank williams & patrick head figures rather than your ceo of honda etc who are only intrested in competing in f1 if it shows thier company in a good light e.g. if their team is winning!

    Was formula 1 that bad when the likes of bennetton, jordana and sauber were on the gird?? the engineering and designers were the same the only difference now is the multi millions ploughed into the teams by manafacturers.

    i think its a good move for f1 as a whole.

  39. These proposals are all very interesting. Could make for some great racing. But £40m isn’t a lot of money – surely it would cost half that much just to transport the cars across the globe?

    Also, does this mean that the revenues Bernie is demanding of the venues will diminish, or is the just an excuse for Bernie and Max to cream more of the profits off the top?

    1. I think that the FIA will pay for transport of 2 cars and Freight to all races for the Cost capped teams, it said so in some FIA FAQ about the cap. FIA currently does so for all teams anyways. So only the cost of moving the cars for testing falls to the teams.

  40. Why would an engineer or designer want to leave the comforts of his present team if he’s going to be earning the same minimum wage as his present employment. The engineers and mechanics love F1 too, but they also have to grow and aim for better comforts.
    Why doesn’t Bernie cap his own salary or Max, his excesses? Max was willing to fine a team a hundred million, there are no caps on fines.

  41. HounslowBusGarage
    1st May 2009, 9:06

    @ Schumi the greatest.
    I think that’s what Max wants – the replacement of the manufacturers with smaller, more easily dominated ‘garagista’ teams. The idea of international manufacturers being in the sport like Mercedes or Toyota is attractive from a marketing point of view, but they are difficult to control and bully. Smaller teams would have less clout overall and Max would find it easier to rule over them in his aristocratic fashion. Problem is though, smaller teams in the past were the ones who really tested the rules and regs to destruction. Max could be swapping one set of difficult teams for another.

    @ El Gordo.
    As I understand it, the transport of the cars around the world is not charged to the team. In exchange for their F1 entrance money, the teams are provided with space for two cars, spares, tools etc on the F1 transport planes to all the flyaway races. I think they are also given 20 economy class air tickets for the mechanics etc as well.

  42. So after the last GP of the year we will have a large accountants meeting i Geneva where it will be decided who won the championship? Can you imagine the uproar if the top team or two get discualified because of economic issues. Max is talking a lot about comparing costs between teams to see if there are any hidden freebies from parent companies in for example R&D.

    I thought bad race stewards was a problem and now we are gonna have crooked accountants to deal with too?

    1. It’s worse than that. The accounting year for a season ends only on December 31, so if they allow a month for the end-of-year reports to come through, the accoutants’ meeting will be in February.

      This also means that results for F1 cannot be frozen at the WMSC meeting in November/December as is currently the case.

  43. Bigbadderboom
    1st May 2009, 9:55

    I only hope all the teams adopt the cap, I can’t be doing with a two tier formula, it doesn’t make for good viewing.

    It would be interesting to know how the big spending teams can use previous development research and apply it under the capped regulations. Any team using the battery KERS is going to struggle to balance the car, 150kg fuel and all the extra batteries will make balance difficult. It puts Williams flywheel KERS development in a new light.

    I presume engine capacity and layout regs still hold, unless anyone knows different? Revving the existing units to 22krpm would reduce reliability. So if you detonate enough blocks you could double the budget cap in replacement engines, as these are not included.

  44. Forget the capped/uncapped. I’d love to see all the teams competing under those new regulations. There’s so much freedom in the design – the KERS, 4WD etc. But I doubt how those could all be developed with £40m.

  45. I can’t see any team not going for the capped system. They are being forced into it really. No team is gonna go for the uncapped route as it would really disadvantage them too much.

    As for the £40 budget cap i think the teams may struggle to cope so long as everyone down the line still charges what they do now for parts. Most companies have charged formula one teams too much for each part of the car (tyres/supension/brakes etc…) because the teams could afford it and was willing to pay. Now these companies have to greatly reduce the cost to the team so the team can do what they need to do to be competative.
    And i see no problem in having 26 cars on the grid for next season and the points are ok as they are now, no need for more tinkering.

    I do feel that the FIA need to stop messing with f1 now and have a cap on changes to the regulations from 2011 on wards for at least 5 yrs so everyone can get used to how everything works.

  46. The FIA have defiantly tried to get teams to compete under the budget cap by making it more attractive that to have an unlimited budget.

    I won’t bother listing all the problems I think there will be with the way the FIA have gone about it, by creating a two tier formula 1, as I did that in a response on another article. However I do think that the £40m limit seems small and it would have been better to start higher and then gradually reduce it season by season, this would have made it more attractive to current teams whose budgets are a lot higher. Also I think the only way a budget cap could work and be a benefit for Formula 1 as a whole, is if the FIA worked with FOTA on the issue to come up with a sensible budget and changes to the rules, rather than the FIA just dictating what the they think should be done

    Despite all the freedoms available to the budget capped teams they obviously can’t exploit all the areas available to them as they won’t have the money. If they wanted to develop their own KERS than that could be all their budget gone straight away for example.

    This was always Mosley’s stated aim with a budget cap to make them choose were to spend their money rather than limit each individual area, one team may decide to do more wind tunnel work during the season but then they wouldn’t be able to do as much testing as another team in pre season as they wouldn’t have the money.

    Capped teams may be able to run engine with no rev limit but does anyone know what problems they would have running an engine at 20,000rpm that has been designed for 18,000rpm, or would it be used like an overtake button, only occasionally. I remember when they introduced the rev limit I read some reports saying some teams were having problems detuning their engines whereas the Mercedes benefitted from the rev limit especially in terms of reliability.

    Are the FIA still going ahead with a standard engine for those who want it, and is it basically going to be the one Cosworth supplied to Williams when they were last in F1.

    Also regarding KERS, there were reports a while ago that a standard KERS unit would be mandatory for all teams, is there any further news on this or is the plan to have it like the standard engine, there if teams don’t want to develop there own but not compulsory.

    Was there any news on the most wins method to decide the championship, because I seem to remember the FIA saying although they needed the team’s permission to introduce for this season they didn’t for next season and so it would be used next year. I think we F1 should stick with a points based championship and just increase the difference between first and second.

  47. Budget capping could work but surely it needs to be done with the suport/agreement of all teams. Offering technical freedom to teams who take the budget cap is a devious way to force all teams to accept it.

    It is a headline grabbing waste of time offering 4WD, increased power KERS, movable rear wings, unlimited testing etc – teams simply won’t be able to afford any of it on £40million.

    As I have said before all of these constant, never ending changes t the rules/regulations will alienate caual fans and drive them away from the sport!

  48. graham228221
    1st May 2009, 12:01

    Any estimates on maximum theoretical laptimes for the two different regulations?

    I’d guess the difference would be at least a second. There’s no way a non-cost restricted team could compete, no matter how much they throw at development.

  49. Rather than offering technical regulation that would allow cost-capped teams to compete on parity with the unlimited spenders, it seems to me the rules for next year would favour those sticking to the spending limit.

    And just how are my capped team supposed to afford unlimited wind tunnel usage, unlimited testing, unlimited fancy transmissions and gear boxes and KERS development?

    Lets say Ferrari, McLaren, BMW, Renault and Toyota decide to go racing uncapped, how is any other team gonna develop an engine that revs over 18,000?

    I’m not againt a budget cap in theory but I think it’s very difficult to enforce it.

  50. What would happen if say McLaren Road Cars /Fiat / Renault. BMW, etc employed somebody like Newey for an astronomical sum to design a road car for them, and then the race team paid him peanuts to work for them?

  51. I am not a fan of any kind of unlevel playing field in sport. something seems very unfair about the whole thing.

    Over the years the big manufacturers have built themselves up based on hard work and success. there is a reason why they are big teams. they deserve to be big teams. while the playing field is level then everything is fair and just.

    It would be like in football, making all the big 4 teams in England start with the score 2-0 to the small team or the other team gets to play with 12 men. for me, its not sport.

    there are other ways to cut costs. they can gradually impose spending limits on ALL teams at the same level. or even impose things like, every team using the same engine. Sport and fairness would remain, thats the key here.

  52. schumi the greatest
    1st May 2009, 15:38

    Intresting points regarding the salries of drivers. I think in general the drivers are motivated by success, the chance to win races and be on the podium. After all they’ve woorked their ***** off for 10 years to get into the sport and a career in f1 is only 10-16 years for the top drivers so i think they all want to make the most of it while they can. Look at hamilton, 3rd year in f1 1st time hes got a car that cant challenge for wins and hes unhappy, would he leave mclaren for half the money to a team with a winning car, yes!

    This does obviously leave the door open for teams like ferrari to offer crazy amounts of cash to drivers, theyr paying kimi nearly 3 times the amount massa gets….make of that what you will.

    The only driver i can really think off who sold himself for money was ralf, but then again did he have many offers after williams?? and if someone offered you 16 million quid a year (or whatever he was on, you wouldnt say no il have 8million instead would you) but i think thats an argument for a different day

  53. Peter Joseph
    1st May 2009, 19:54

    It’s crazy. Unlimited testing and windtunnel use? Double power KERS. All the sorts of things that using and developing would suck up loads of cash. What’s the point in being allowed those things if you can’t afford them?

    The uncapped teams can just pour millions into making the most out of the limited testing and wind tunnel use.

    Anybody know how on earth the FIA enforces windtunnel testing restrictions?

  54. i think a few things are being misunderstood here:

    the fia does not have the right to force an inspection of anyone’s finances. that’s why teams are offered limited and unlimited budgets.

    all of the options available to the teams are exactly that – options. it is impossible to exploit multiple areas at once.

    nothing is being taken away from uncapped teams. the rules are exactly as they are right now, and nobody complained in december.

    1. the fia does not have the right to force an inspection of anyone’s finances. that’s why teams are offered limited and unlimited budgets.

      Then how do the FIA know if people are adhering to the capped budget if they agree?

      all of the options available to the teams are exactly that – options. it is impossible to exploit multiple areas at once.

      Not if you have unlimited budget.

      nothing is being taken away from uncapped teams. the rules are exactly as they are right now


    2. Then how do the FIA know if people are adhering to the capped budget if they agree?

      by entering 2010 as a cost-capped team, the team permits the fia to inspect via the costs commission

      Not if you have unlimited budget.

      with an unlimited budget, a team couldn’t exploit any of those areas.


      please elaborate as to what has changed regarding unlimted budget teams, excluding changes for all cars such as refuelling, et cetera.

    3. by entering 2010 as a cost-capped team, the team permits the fia to inspect via the costs commission

      So what your saying now is the FIA do have the right inspect finances where as before you said they didn’t.

      with an unlimited budget, a team couldn’t exploit any of those areas.

      You might need to state what areas your talking about here. I thought you were talking about technical development with regards to the restriction of the budget cap.

      please elaborate as to what has changed regarding unlimted budget teams, excluding changes for all cars such as refuelling, et cetera

      Ok excluding the things that have changed nothing has changed. Having said that uncapped teams will be competing against teams with budget cap perks, that’s a fairly big change for the uncapped teams.

      I’m not sure where this is going! Are you for or against the idea? Personally I’m not against a budget cap in principle but I don’t like the proposal as it stands.

    4. flavio, is this you? ;)

      So what your saying now is the FIA do have the right inspect finances where as before you said they didn’t.

      they don’t have the legal right, until teams give consent by entering 2010 and later under the cap. an unlimited team can and most certainly will refuse a financial inspection.

      You might need to state what areas your talking about here. I thought you were talking about technical development with regards to the restriction of the budget cap.

      i am indeed referring to the technical areas made available only to capped teams, as summarized by keith’s chart. a capped team may help themselves to 40M pounds worth of the right-hand column, and an unlimited team gets none. i think your statement “Not if you have unlimited budget.” describes a different scenario from what is stipulated.

      Ok excluding the things that have changed nothing has changed.

      the entire left-hand column of keith’s chart describes terms identical to those put in place prior the 2009 season. an unlimited team in 2010 would not be subject to any greater restriction than what has been agreed upon for 2009.

      I’m not sure where this is going! Are you for or against the idea? Personally I’m not against a budget cap in principle but I don’t like the proposal as it stands.

      for the good of the sport, i am for the cap. i was doubtful it would be done or done well, but after seeing the regulations i have more confidence.

      max’s idea is this:
      he cannot brute force the budget cap onto teams, so he leaves the teams the possibility of not changing, to their eventual detriment. he will lure them with technical goodies to play with. if the carrot doesn’t work, the stick takes the form of windtunnel testing and a double-dose of kers.


  56. BNK Racing
    2nd May 2009, 16:59

    im a little confused….the capped teams with sooo much technical freedom. how do they exactly expect to pay for all this freedom if they are capped at 40m? isnt the reason why the big teams now spend so much is because they exercise their current technical freedom so much? i would have thought that with the cap, teams would have less technical freedom because they have less money to spend on it…

    but as F! yankee stated….i suppose they could focus on a couple of the options based on their budget and not expect to venture into all of the options given their limited budget…..

    so what happens if say the big spenders of the sport enter as uncapped teams and they absolutely rape the capped teams all season? will there be another wave of restrictions etc following the 2010 season?

    1. i think the additional windtunnel and track time pretty much guarantees a capped team a quicker pace all season long.

  57. Firstly, let it be known that I am a fan of F1 and have been for several years, but am not well-versed in the nuances and deeply complex (and seemingly arbitrary) ways in which rules are created and implemented. But I do understand professional sport from a business perspective, having competed and administered teams in a non-motor-racing sport. That said, with my background (a non-F1 specialist, but a true fan of the spectacle of the sport), this budget cap would seem to be a classic example of a good idea/concept being poorly executed by an incompetent leadership team that failed to get buy-in from some of the sport’s major stakeholders.

    A budget cap makes sense from the perspective of sustainability and longevity, if the operative assumption is that there would be more teams participating in F1 over a longer period if there was a limit to what they had to source in sponsorship dollars each year, and that this greater participation of lesser-funded teams year in and year out is of more value than a potentially smaller, possibly-less-stable grid that includes works teams like Ferrari that have exceptional (read, unlimited) budgets. But what I wonder is who is the value of the budget cap accruing to, and what are the actual costs of implementing it (such as seeing Ferrari quit, for example…F1 w/o Ferrari? What kind of impact would that have on the F1 brand?)?

    So like, what is the equation, the valuation, the metrics that are being relied upon to come to the conclusion that capping team budgets is “best” for “the sport”, and what does “best” mean quantitatively and qualitatively, and what segment of “the sport” are the rules changes being implemented on behalf of (after all, F1 the sport includes, teams, manufacturers, sponsors, fans, the governing body, commercial rights holders, TV and other media, etc)?

    Something that jumps out at me is the fact that it will be very difficult to police a budget cap…what capacity does FIA or F1 mgmt (or whoever it is that’s in charge) have to force open the books of an entity like Ferrari SpA to check that its adhering to a budget cap? Is that even legal under EU rules?

    The survivability of the sport is key, as is its sustainability during a massive global economic recession. But part and parcel of the debate is the question “What degradation to the F1 brand are we [the stakeholders on the rules-making side] willing to tolerate in order to ensure the longevity of the sport?” It seems like that analysis is not being done w/ sufficient rigor and foresight and inclusiveness.

    For F1 to say that it doesn’t need Ferrari is true to some degree (the sport is bigger than any one particular manufacturer/team, would be the argument), but there is also a limit to what sponsors and fans will accept with regards to standardization of technology and suppression of technical innovation – a characteristic of F1 that has set it apart from all other motorsport disciplines and given it massive cache with the public. After all, the F1 brand is built on the notion of supreme drivers utilizing the most advanced, cutting-edge technology.

    Unfortunately, it costs money to develop, refine and implement new technologies. F1/FIA might consider what many others here have suggested: allowing some time to pass – at least more than one season – without constantly shifting rules. Teams might not need to spend so much money then adapting to significant shifts in rules…so there might not be such a need to cap budgets because innovation could happen for innovation’s sake, instead of in response to seemingly-arbitrary rules changes.

    I’m not sure if it was in this forum or another where someone noted that here in the USA, the NFL (national football league) doesn’t change its rules every year just for the sake of changing rules. They’ve found a model that works, and they stick to it – and they leave the teams to invest in hiring, training, managing, and in some cases even doping their athletes; while employing the best support staff possible to create the most efficient, effective on-field effort. NFL is not motorsport, but the point is that once the NFL developed a model that delivered value to its clients – the fans and advertisers – it’s stuck with it wherever possible. On the contrary, F1 seems to constantly be engaged in a process of not just rule-tweaking, but something worse…like, arbitrary, capricious rule re-writing w/o considering the costs to the teams, the fans, the sponsors, of those rule changes.

    I can’t IMAGINE F1 without Ferrari. I’m sorry, but I would rather see 18 cars on the grid, two or three of which were Ferrari, rather than the addition of new teams like Lola or Prodrive – if in order for those teams to participate, the “spectacle” of F1 was diminished in the name of “equality” between teams (achieved through artificial limits on spending) and Ferrari’s entries were suddenly less-unique and individual and more similar to the cars fielded by new teams.

    Winning costs money! Can’t FIA/F1 (excuse my ignorance…what I want to say is “the governing body” or “whoever makes the rules”) instead come up with some system requiring a minimum bond or bank guarantee that any team (new or not) that wants to compete in F1 would have to post before the start of the season, which would gain them entry to the series (and would ensure some level of professionalism and sustainability by mandating a certain MINIMUM level of resources, rather than thinking like they are now, about limiting the MAXIMUM resources a team can deploy in ‘010), but then allow these new teams to buy technology from any manufacturers willing to sell it to them so that they could save on development costs? The new teams would KNOW that they had less chance of beating a works team like Ferrari (though maybe not this season! ;-) lol) if the only variable in the equation was money, but the fact that they could access some significant level of performance through technology-transfers in exchange for cash to willing developers would keep them in the game and that would be the bargain they’d make.

    Anyway, admirable goal to reduce costs, especially in a global recession. Admirable to encourage and facilitate the participation of more teams in the sport. Not so admirable when that participation is encouraged through stifling innovation, limiting the competitiveness of established, marquee teams like Ferrari (which I would think would suffer under the budget cap) or otherwise preventing companies that have money to spend from spending it as they see fit, and worse still when cost-cutting seems to lead to homogenization of cars – which is the opposite of the technical supremacy and innovation that are hallmarks of F1.

    1. Wow epic comment!

      what capacity does FIA or F1 mgmt (or whoever it is that’s in charge) have to force open the books of an entity like Ferrari SpA to check that its adhering to a budget cap? Is that even legal under EU rules?

      This is the crux of the ‘two tier’ matter. As I understand you’re quite right – the FIA can’t simply come along and demand everyone go with budget capping and assume the right to investigate their finances.

      Therefore they offer budget capping as something the teams may choose to have, on the understanding that they can then inspect the teams’ budgets.

      But as we’ve seen, the FIA has made budget capping an offer the teams can’t refuse, as it offers them so many technical advantages. It does make me wonder if anyone will consider a legal challenge.

  58. Although i am one who relishes the idea of f1 being an unlimited formula in terms of technicalities, i really like the format in which they have presented the Budget Cap option…

    however what will that do to fans? will we have a capped favorite and a non capped favorite?

    in anycase i have a feeling the races would be really interesting if these rules go through

  59. It’s beyond belief. And I can’t believe that we are sitting here debating whether it will “work”.

    1. At face value, it’s a handicapping system, plain and simple. The reason we used to feel F1 was superior to NASCAR or Touring Cars. But those series just adjust a flap or add some ballast, this is much worse because it’s a multi-faceted system, front and rear wings, engine specs, KERS specs, transmission specs, parts longevity and testing. They really threw in the kitchen sink there, didn’t they? But if it was ONLY a handicapping system, we could debate its merits (as if there should be any deba…). Sadly, it’s much more (and much worse) than that.

    2. Because it effectively railroads the big teams into massively downsizing, laying off their people and submitting themselves to an accountancy exercise in order to compete, we face the real possibility that accountants and lawyers will decide titles. Bloggers will become lay accountants, debating GAAP and pro forma accounting practices, fiscal years, Sarbanes Oxley and LIFO vs. FIFO. This is particularly ironic post-Enron, Fannie and Freddie, the collapse of banks and the Madofff scandal. Could F1 be made more boring or impenetrable than to introduce accountancy and grey men in suits called Cecil? But of course, having established that the FIA can’t even police a single-tier, (mostly) technically based set of regulations, where intractable debates about the width of a tyre, the size of a barge board or the purpose of a damper can decide a world championship, we now decide to make the whole thing massively more complex on a technical level, AND introduce accountancy. Just unbelievable. Do we honestly believe that teams will not be able to hide potentially very large expenditures, making creative accountancy the order of the day, with the spoils going to the team that can most effectively hide its spending (unless Max happens to dislike that team, that is)? Surely we do not, and this brings me to what it’s really all about:

    3. If by “work” you mean: will it succeed in dividing the teams comprising FOTA, thereby ensuring that Max continues to wield absolute power over the teams – the standard divide-and-conquer strategy that he wheels out every hour on the hour, which always succeeds but to which we seem to be collectively blind as a fan base – then, yes, absolutely, it will work handsomely. Watch the weaker teams fall in line first, followed by the others, knowing, as they will, that resistance is futile (one could also argue that the team managers in F1 are puss1es, and this was proven when Bernie bribed Ferrari to the tune of $400M, plus the rest, starting in 2003, and the other teams did exactly NOTHING about it).

    When Max resorts to this, you have to conclude he’s given up even on the façade of a level playing field. It’s just another area where he will be able to selectively prosecute teams as he wishes, vastly complex and therefore impossible for anyone, least of all the casual fan, to hold him to account on his decisions. We’ll just hear that such-and-such team has been caught cooking the books, they blew the catering budget and they’re really naughty boys and have to be be fined and disqualified. He has already said he wants a continuous moving brief on the regulations and therefore on the competitiveness of teams. That everyone simply accepts the idea is a reflection that we all see that he claimed this moving brief already, of course. Max has already been enforcing a 10-tier set of regulations these last several years anyway. Of late, McLaren has the toughest regs and is called to account for the slightest thing, and has a much higher burden of accountability. Ferrari has had the least stringent regs for many years, and can exit a pit box as dangerously as you like, or drive around with an exhaust pipe hanging off its car without being black flagged. But now that Max has scalped Ron and is having a spat with Montezemolo, maybe they will be brought into the pack and someone else will be picked on or favoured. Let’s not pretend that’s not how it works. The change perhaps is that Max has been feeling a bit constrained by having to have his people argue about why one 25-second post race penalty is not subject to appeal when another one was, and having to make up lies about it. After all there’s only a certain number of times you can say that 10mm is really 5mm, and 5mm is really 0mm, or that a damper inside a tub is really an aerodynamic device, or that a former steward said something he clearly denies. Introducing the world of accounting is the perfect way to fix that, isn’t it? It’s the ultimate coarse control knob. Will it work? Absolutely? Do you even care about what competition means in motorsport?

    1. @sean here, here! i think you’ve described the problems with the two tier system perfectly. whilst I like the idea of greater technical freedom but in these regulations it is a mirage. i don’t want a world championship decided in the offices of price waterhouse coopers! let’s hope the poorer members of FOTA can be convinced that it’s not in their long term interests either.

  60. SonyJunkie
    5th May 2009, 14:37

    Hmmm, Four-wheel-drive!

    Audi F1 anyone!!!!!! :)

  61. Question. Lets have a poll –

    With the “capped” and “uncapped” regulation, can it still be said the sport of Formula One will be fair and equal in spirit and spec, to all those competing…

  62. I have to say I think Hamilton is about to come good too!!!

    Also I just found a competition where you can win qualifying tickets in the BMW paddock for the British Grand Prix!!!!

    Check it out…

  63. jenson will win. easy

  64. I think that Mclaren will rock this world this year and thrash everyone.

  65. Broadsidejohn
    29th June 2009, 5:10

    Hello, everyone. I am in the US and new to the site. I am enthusiastic about Mssrs. Windsor and Anderson starting up USf1 (I thought that Bernie B threatened to sue them if they used “F1”) and looking forward to next season. One thing puzzles me: F1 has bid adieu to US, Canada and France. The main excuse they gave for bailing out on Indy and the US was the cost of bringing the teams so far. I see that they have races nearer to Europe in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, China and Malaysia.Didn’t they have huge unfilled stands at these races? My feeling is that if a country will pony up huge $$ to lure a race then, voila! Also, I think F1 is largely advertising driven. By that I mean the main sponsors want to get their brand out into the world, and if that means that Chad, Bangladesh or Tierra Del Fuego can pass the baskets and collect enough $$ lure F1, why not give the boot to Belgium, Germany and Hungary? How many F1 fans are in the United Arab Emirates? or Myanmar? That’s why I am beginning to suspect that it’s all about ING, Santander, et al and F1 is merely the Vehicle to deliver their message. It makes fans of motorsport wonder. If anyone can enlighten me on this, please do so. There are lots of very knowledgeble fans here.

  66. waqas afzal
    25th July 2009, 15:30

    massa kimi and alonso i like these drivers

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