Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has suggested setting a lower budget cap for F1 teams who buy power units than manufacturers such as his team.
However F1’s biggest-spending teams such as Ferrari are concerned this would involve making deeper cuts to their operations. Binotto, who proposed the plan for a multi-tier budget cap, explained the reasoning behind the idea in an interview for Sky.
“We are fully aware of the difficulties of some teams,” he said. “We are fully aware that we need to address costs for the future of F1. Reducing costs is the first driver of making every single team survive.
“We are obviously discussing with F1, FIA and all the teams a budget cap deduction. But we should not forget when doing that exercise that we’ve got different structures, we’ve got different assets.
“There are teams which are constructors, as Ferrari and other top teams where we are designing, developing, homologating and producing each single component of our cars. Other teams are customers so buying some parts, so not having the same structure, obviously, because they are not designing, developing et cetera all those components.
“So I think when discussing a budget cap, we should not forget that we’ve got different situations and it’s important that we find a common ground somehow which is suited to the different situations. And maybe the answer is not a single budget cap equal for all the teams, finally.”
Formula 1 must think carefully about the level to set the budget cap, Binotto stressed.
“We had a meeting yesterday with all the teams, FIA and and the F1 and it has been a constructive and positive meeting. I think there are still analyses which are required to make the right decisions.
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“We should avoid really to be emotional at the moment. We know that we will face difficult situations, but we need us well to somehow maintain what’s the DNA, the essence of the F1, which is competition.
“So I think it’s it’s important clearly to look, know the details, but make a rational decision which has been really based on the considerations and not emotions.”
Binotto said Ferrari is prepared to back changes which may put it at a disadvantage in the interests of the sport. He said the team’s support for the postponement of new technical regulations for 2021 to next year was an example of that.
“I think it was the right and good decision because, obviously, it has to be a responsible decision,” he said. “I think the situation and the emergency we are facing as first counts as a priority.
“We cannot only act in the interests of a single team, in the interest of Ferrari, but really looking at the wider picture, wider situation. Obviously we know teams were in difficulty and time would become very tight to develop new cars for 2021. So I think at the end that was the right choice.
“Is that somehow not be in favour of Ferrari? Very likely, yes it may be. But I think that we are challengers and we are as well people that wants to do each time better as compared to what we did in the past. And there will be times where eventually, even if they will be tight, we can recover and be stronger.”
Yesterday Canada became the ninth round of the season to be called off. Binotto said he hopes F1 will have an idea next month when the championship will be able to start.
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“F1 is certainly trying to organise the best championships they can do this season eventually starting early July if that would be possible. But we cannot not have any confirmation at the moment. I think by the end of May maybe we’ll have a clearer picture.
“It’s in the interest of everyone, really to start racing when we can results, when that will be possible, of as many races as we can. But I think it’s really too early now to have a clear picture of what would be the future.”
Binotto said Ferrari was will to be flexible and accommodate changes to the race weekend structure, such as reducing the amount of practice and running multiple races at the same venue, to fit in as much of the 2020 season as possible.
“We know that from the sporting regs as first to have a world championship you need at least eight races. But I think everyone is trying to look for more than that.
“What would be important for us is really to be flexible. I’m pretty sure that Chase [Carey, F1 chairman and CEO] and the teams will be capable of putting in place the best championship we can have.
“So I think from our side really whatever is needed: Short race weekend, double race, whenever we finish packing all the races together. I think whatever will be it’s important to be flexible, and making sure that we can have good races as well for the fans.”
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