Start crash, Hungaroring, 2021

Compensation for crash damage? It might just happen in budget cap F1

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The original Lotus F1 operation went to the wall in 1994 after Johnny Herbert was innocently punted out at the first corner of the Italian Grand Prix, having qualified fourth in a last-ditch attempt to save the team. True, Lotus had been on a slippery slope for a while, but Herbert reckoned he could have scored a team-saving podium but for the tangle, with the crash effectively being the final nail in the coffin.

The Surtees team failed to recover fully after Jody Scheckter wiped out all three of the cars entered by ‘Big John’ in the 1973 British Grand Prix, who until his final days blamed the initially wild South African for the eventual demise of his eponymous team. Other factors, too, played a role in the team’s fate, but without that multiple crash it may have survived to fight many more seasons.

The direct and peripheral financial costs of accidents in motorsport have long been viewed as being ‘part of the game’ and borne by competitors regardless of their culpability (if any) in any incidents, nor, crucially, on the eventual impact these may have had on team owners. These are but two examples, with a raft of tales abounding of teams – competing at all levels – who were forced to shut shop after being innocently wiped out.

However, at no stage had there been any talk of redress, and indeed it is likely that any civil court actions would have resulted in short shrift from a civil bench on the basis that accidents – and, by extension, the costs of damage incurred – are part of the risk of going racing. It was very much a matter of standing heat or exiting kitchen.

Stroll and Bottas were blamed for Hungarian GP carnage
Perspectives changed with the introduction of Formula 1’s budget cap, which limits the amount teams may spend on actual racing activities during a season – regardless of whether they have the additional funds available to pay for damages. Mercedes team boss Toro Wolff was the first to allude to the financial impact – in other words, the curtailment of certain planned activities – after George Russell crashed into Valtteri Bottas in Imola.

“Our car is a write-off in a cost-cap environment,” Wolff said. “That is certainly not what we needed. It’s probably going to limit upgrades that we’re able to do.”

In the wake of the infamous crash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen at Silverstone the latter’s Red Bull team boss Christian Horner also referenced the cost implications: “The other significant factor is the cost-cap element of this. That crash cost us approximately $1.8million (£1.3m) and an accident like that has massive ramifications in the budget cap era.”

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Matters for Red Bull went from bad to worse last Sunday in Hungary, where Bottas triggered a multi-car pile-up which took out the car of Sergio Perez and damaged Verstappen’s too, though he made it to the flag in the points.

Binotto suggested making teams’ pay for damaging rivals’ cars
That prompted Horner to call for F1 to “revisit” the list of included items” with the FIA. “It’s something that can affect all teams, not just Red Bull,” he added.

Although Wolff and Horner pointed to the implications, they did not suggest the next logical step – that some sort of claims procedure should be in place for aggrieved teams. This was, though, raised post-race by Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto after Charles Leclerc’s engine was damaged at the Hungaroring when Lance Stroll clumsily clattered into him.

“I think there is value for discussions in the near future with the other team principals, FIA and F1,” Binotto said. “Obviously if you’re not guilty, having such damage in the budget cap is something which is even more of a consequence now.

“Should we add exemptions? I think it may be very difficult to be policed. But I think that what we may consider is that if a driver is faulty, the team of the driver should pay at least to the other teams for the damages and repairs. That will make the drivers more responsible.”

That, of course, flies fully in the face of F1 convention and potentially opens a can of worms with massive knock-on effects all the way downstream: once a precedent is set in F1 it invariably cascades to other categories.

One can absolutely see Binotto’s point if viewed from an aggrieved team’s perspective; on the other hand it requires stewards – the judges in any incident – to apportion blame on a percentage basis for a claim to be granted.

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That will, in turn result in an increase in appeals and/or requests for review, further complicating an already convoluted and time-consuming process which could then ultimately end up in the civil courts, particularly where the sums involved run into many millions. This raises the question: should any damages awarded by the stewards be included in either cost cap?

It’s been an expensive two races for Red Bull
Such a system could, though, readily be formulated and implemented by categorising all incidents on a scale of one to four, with drivers (or teams) found to be guilty on a 25/75 (partially to blame, the other predominantly so), 50/50 (no claim), 100/0 (wholly), with further splits in the event of multi-car accidents. An FIA-appointed assessor would be given access to a team’s cost accounts and award damages accordingly.

The complexity lies not in the formulation of such a process but in its implementation. It raises further questions: Is such a process in conflict with F1’s ‘let them race’ philosophy? What to do in the case of with intra-team incidents? Do stewards demand that the ‘guiltiest’ driver compensates his own team and what appeal processes should be followed?

Chatter about the costs of crashes and demands for compensation are, at this stage, a direct result of the budget cap and thus little more than conjecture. Ultimately any claims process is likely to have major ramifications on the overall structures and integrity of the sport while being highly complex to implement. Thus, compensation is unlikely to be introduced any time soon.

That said, similar words were uttered 15 years ago when budget caps were first tabled, and in 2021 these became a harsh but welcome reality. Ditto HANS, halo and sprint qualifying, all of which were initially heavily opposed before being implemented. On that basis it is not inconceivable that some form of compensation is introduced in F1 sooner rather than later.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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105 comments on “Compensation for crash damage? It might just happen in budget cap F1”

  1. It’s a fair point, but why now? The budget cap doesn’t force everyone to aim to the highest possible number, some teams might be running below that, and they have for the past few years. So why are big teams having so much trouble? Why bring this one up now?

    Mercedes, oh the poor souls, have to re-build Bottas’ car. What about Russell’s? Maybe it wasn’t a write off but of course the repairs were expensive. No one at Williams complained about it, and I’m sure pockets aren’t deeper at Groove. They cannot even afford a mule car for next year’s tyres. And they manage…

    It’s easy to complain right off the bat without realizing others have that going on for decades and no one cared one bit about them. So tough luck… no sympathy from me.

    1. @fer-no65 it would seem that the reason why people are complaining now is that it impacts those teams at the front that, until now, could have afforded such accident damage.

      After all, we’ve seen midfield and tail end teams be hit by similar issues with accident damage – Norris and Ricciardo both had pretty heavy damage to their cars in Hungary, but nobody has been offering any sympathy to McLaren and this article ignores Seidl’s comment that the team would just have to accept the financial loss and move on as best they can. Only because it impacts a few more popular drivers is it now being seen as a problem…

      1. I think this is the key issue for me. Many teams still have total budgets for the season well below the budget cap, and accidents have always had a much larger impact on them. The larger teams have always just said this is a cost of going racing, so teams should suck it up.

        Well, now it finally affects the big guys, too. This is a cost of going racing. Factor it into your costs, accept it and, as you’ve been telling smaller teams for decades… SUCK IT UP!

      2. Mclaren is equally unhappy about the crash. I am not sure about the extend of their damage. But as a team they won’t say anything openly against Mercedes or Aston Martin.
        Although Lando said apology won’t change anything.

      3. @anon: it has been brought up now because it was floated by a team boss; so-called ‘popularity of drivers’ has nothing to do with. If Seidl had mentioned some form of compensation he would have been quoted – as it turned out he was he stoically accepted the damage inflicted on his team. There is no need analysis in that.

        For the record his two drivers are extremely popular.

        1. A lot of teams live in the pre-budget cap world. They only spend what they can afford and if the damage repairs exceed their existing budget they adjust just as they have always done.

          The big teams see it as unfair that they can’t spend up the budget cap on development they see it as a sporting disadvantage rather than a financial penalty. I would have more sympathy if they were in the position of Lotus or Surtees but even then only up to a point. Crashes, damage and repairs are a known risk and part of the game and should be budgeted for. Some years you will be up on your budget, some you will be down.

          When teams start bringing “fairness” into every incident and wanting compensation, it’s tedious and ultimately not very sporting.

          In terms of popularity and prominence of drivers it is, it is important in terms of the “clamour” for a change i.e the volume of social media comments, which are in a positive feedback loop with actual media articles. Social and real media can affect how much attention an issue gets (though the degree it does depends on the issue and nature of the decision makers)

        2. @dieterrencken thank you for proceeding to emphasise the point that I made that Seidl was not publicly making public demands for compensation from other teams which, if anything, reinforces the point about this being more of a case of this being a political argument by front running teams.

          I do feel that there is more of a political angle to this than it being about some sort of “fairness” – if the financial impact was such a concern, then why didn’t Horner complain about the financial implications of Verstappen’s crash in Baku? The repairs for that would not have been cheap – likewise, I doubt that it was cheap for Aston Martin to scrape up what was left of Stroll’s car after his tyre failure in that same race – but nobody raised the question of adjusting the budget cap for accident damage back then.

          Indeed, the crashes that both Stroll and Verstappen had in Baku due to tyre failures also raises another question – if it is considered fair to make teams pay compensation to each other, then what happens if the driver is the victim of a random failure due to outside factors?

          In the event of a tyre failure, the driver would be a innocent party and the consequences of a tyre failure could result in a crash that causes major damage – the way that Stroll’s car was written off at Mugello in 2020 gives an idea of the sort of damage that can be done, and both Stroll and Verstappen had heavily damaged cars in Baku this year.

          Is it any fairer for a car to be written off due to that sort of random event – particularly when we know that the construction of the tyres has been an area oft complained about? Should those third parties then become liable for compensating the teams? Would Horner be prepared to press Pirelli for compensation for what happened to Max in Baku? Would teams be incentivised to press circuits for greater compensation if a car was damaged due to their errors, such as what happened with Russell in Baku in 2019 when that drain cover punched through his car?

          I do also agree with the point that @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk also raises about the risk that, if you start attaching the financial element to the stewards decisions, it puts them under a lot more pressure and also opens them up to a potentially even larger public backlash if they are perceived to have made the wrong decision.

          It potentially also creates an even bigger risk that teams would want to politicise the stewarding process further, since now you’re giving teams an increased incentive to get a rival punished – since you not only have your own balance redressed, but you get to diminish the resources of your rivals – and also on wanting to ensure that your own driver is treated more leniently in the event of a crash.

          1. @anon

            Red Bull suffered a triple whammy due to Lewis crashing into Max (maximum loss of points, penalty for an extra engine and huge cost). It’s not surprising that losing more makes people complain more.

      4. It’s an unfair advantage for teams for this to be allowed, teams who are able to routinely maxing out their budget and then get a financial dispensation because they maxed out? Where you then have lower budget teams on the same track competing in same races as hard as anyone else without the means to max out their budget limit and then not get any dispensation for same scenario if they get a car/PU/gearbox destroyed blatantly by another team. Big budget teams win

        Once that can be settled, Then how do you decide who gets this dispensation and how much? Will there be a separate crash jury to decide on fault and most likely they’ll need another committee of bean counters to assess cost values & award $$$ amounts? Surely the weekend of guest rotating stewards being rotated can’t also be expected to be asked to assign total blame and amounts?

        Then who and how will they decide on who also gets dispensation from the PU & gearbox count limit? Does the injured team be allowed to uncrate a minty new PU for a damaged PU that was on it’s half life without limit penalty? That would give them unfair performance boost compared to their rivals who are still using PU’s turned down to last long enough for their races scheduled life before they can uncrate a new PU or last to the end of season?

        Imagine all the bickering and finger pointing between teams involved in a on track racing incident when this happens, the extra hearings, the rebuttals, the time to research and find new data and model reenactments to prove thier point to win over the jury? It would get ugly and could drag on forever. Especially of you have multiple teams involved in accident like HUN.

        Having said all that, I could totally understand and justify Afla Romero RAI being told to pay for damages when they released him unsafely out of his pit, crashing into Haas Mazepin; that’s a pretty clear cut case and not open to interpretation and could be an easy/quick settlement but how much does a couple of parts of a front suspension cost? Nothing earth shattering nor having any big impact to budget. Missing the race was the real impact at not fault of their own. But that’s how it goes in racing

    2. I feel this « crash damage compensation » idea is pretty much BS talk aim to negotiate another form of compensation. I mean, the concept might seems logical, but I don’t see this implemented in real life for 2 reasons:

      1. You need then to formally determine responsibilities to force re-funding. While in some cases it might be clear, in many cases it’s not so simple. Can you imagine the countless debate, appeal etc ? How do you agree on the amount to be refunded ? Would you just trust Horner’s estimation (good joke that one, i wouldn’t trust him with a cookie). Do you need to be « wholly responsible or primarely responsible » ? No way this would work.
      2. While it certainly interest the big team (the one to complain today) to protect their development rate, it could be a real issue for the small ones. Bad luck, a Williams (2019 version) driver make a mistake and unfortunately , the circumptances means 10 car out, 18m€ damage to reimburse. They might go down, or have to fire Russel for another pay driver just to pay the bill…. Fair ? Really ? Is this still a little bit a sport ?

      My conclusion: cannot be applied. But I’m sure they all know it already and are just trying to negotiate a bit more budget.

      So, why not just cap the amount of repair in a year ? If you go above, you can spend the difference ? Small team: same as today, big team, you protect your dev capacity

    3. All of this makes very interesting points both for and against but one point that has not yet been included is the ease at which Hamilton appears to remove the opposition from track by diving up the inside whenever he is behind on points with the full support of Mercedes, surely the drivers could be dissuaded from such dirty tactics if they are found at fault to have to partially contribute to said costs out of their enormous salary

  2. The teams are allowed to exceed the budget cap by 5% to mitigate the effects of “force majeure”, for which being rammed off the track through no fault of your own would qualify. Still it would put them at the mercy of the FIA to judge what can be fixed outside the cap and what not. And at this rate of attrition 5% will not be enough anyway.

    The teams can still break the cap regardless, but then they’ll be punished with a tighter cap next year.

    1. That would allow for about an additional $7m, based on the $145m

      Using RBR as an example, they have been forthcoming with damage costs recently. The damage to the RBR after Silverstone was reported to be $1.8m plus the damage to the PU. The Baku tyre failure probably led to a similar cost. With Hungary there was heavy damage to both cars, plus the PU damage to Perez, so let’s say a modest $1m total for both cars (not including the PU). That sets them on $4.6m so far this season.

      Some teams don’t have that extra amount, to go over the budget cap, by the same token, if one of the Haas drivers caused the damage at Hungary, would they be able to cover the costs of the damage to their own cars as well as the cars damaged?

      1. I don’t think the damage equates to what was quoted – although undoubtedly it would have been expensive. Some parts of the car would have been replaced next race anyway. Including the PU it may have cost them that much but The PU is outside the restrictions anyway.

      2. Forthcoming maybe @maddme, but the number seems to be a lot more than a bare hardware replacement cost, (enough that this site consistently taking it at face value seems disappointing), and similar for that sum Wolff named after Imola.

        That’s one of the problems with this stuff.

  3. F1 can implement budget cap exemptions like the NBA (a soft capt instead of a hard cap like the NFL).
    In the NBA you have a lot of ways to exceed the cap to resign your own players, sign cheap veterans etc…
    Liberty could use an Engine Change exception, or Chassis Change exemption or something similar but making the other team pay is not the way to go.
    In the history of motorsports there have been a lot of teams tight on money with their own cars influencing the setup on race day ( running a higher suspension in order to not damage the wings in the curbs, not fighting the starts, making the driver pay for the repairs..) Imagine if Haas or Williams preDorilton had to pay the damage of the other cars, there would be like 4-5 teams only on the grid.

    1. TBH, I would rather have “the other team pay” than just an exemption (although I don’t think we actually should have either). An exemption benefits the rich, top-end teams much more than the lower end teams, who are often running with total budgets well below the cap. And exemption would mean nothing to these lower end teams. We would, of course, need to consider how a large “claim” against them might affect the smaller teams, though.

      However, all of this is why it needs to be considered carefully. Many are calling for a knee jerk reaction to the events of the last few races. That will just lead to trouble. Leave things as they are this season, look in detail at any possible approaches for next.

      1. @drmouse I’m not sure who the ‘many’ are that are calling for a knee jerk reaction on this, and if anything I would have thought this is just some in F1, including Dieter here and in an article he wrote about 3 or 4 weeks ago, bringing this up as perhaps an issue they should discuss further. I highly doubt anything will be done this season about it, other than perhaps formal conversation from the key players within F1.

        As to the lesser teams and their lesser budgets, you have a point that they can’t even meet the cap anyway, but I don’t think that is necessarily a permanent scenario any more. We have Liberty trying to grow back F1, make it a more affordable series in which to play for existing and potential new teams, and there is fairer money distribution for the teams as well. I envision that perhaps in 3-5 years assuming positive growth for an F1 that is a more enthralling product on the track and therefore attracting more and more audience and sponsors, that the budgets may be much more similar amongst the teams than is currently the case, over the near and long term future.

        What I could see happening in order to avoid litigation and sniping between teams over crash damage costs etc, and one team compensating another, is rather, let’s say a driver commits an act that the stewards deemed penalty worthy, then the victim (the team) of the crash has that particular spend requirement separated from their budget cap. If a driver goes off on his own and sustains damage, that’s on the team within their cap. If two drivers clash and one or both sustains damage but it was deemed a racing incident by the stewards, then that is on both teams within their cap. But if a driver commits a penalty worthy act, then if they themselves sustain damage that is on them within the cap, but the victim of the penalty-worthy act gets to do their repairs without it affecting their budget cap situation. Summing up, the only ‘compensation’ would be for the victims of an actual penalty worthy act, and that would only be that they would be allowed to segregate the expenditure on repairs from eating into their cap. Everything else would remain as is otherwise. I don’t think that would be unfair since they are victims of a penalty-worthy act which could have Championship implications, including if it also harms their budget room i.e. development. Of course Silverstone with Max taken out by penalized LH, and Hungary with LN and SP taken out by penalized Bottas, and DR taken out by penalized Stroll, would be prime examples of RBR and Mac imho being allowed to do their repairs financially on them of course, but separate from the budget cap, were my idea to be in place. Oh wasn’t there a Ferrari caught up in that too? They should also be able to do their repairs on their own dime but away from that affecting their cap.

        1. The many I’m talking of are the people all over social media calling for something to be done about this immediately, most talking about solutions which would cause additional issues.

          For teams lower down the order, I believe there will always be teams whose budgets are lower than the cap. For these, it will never make any difference whether they must make repairs inside or outside the cap. I seriously doubt that liberty will fix this, they may make things a little more level, but making it so everyone has the same budget? I doubt it.

          As for your solution, it seems reasonable as long as both repair costs and fault are fairly determined. Only costs actually incurred and caused by the crash should be covered, and there would need to be a fair way to adjudicate these. In addition, there would need to be a better way than just relying on who was penalised to determine fault. At the very least, relying only on that will lead to a vast increase in appeals to try to get fault moved one way or another, due to the vast impact it could have. I believe it is likely it would lead to a huge increase in off-track “legal”- style wranglings over who was at fault and how much repairs cost… Exactly the kind of thing people say they don’t want to see.

          1. @drmouse The many talking over social media have nothing to do with what F1 decides within itself.

            With my solution repair costs do not come into it. It is simply that F1 already has stewards whose job it is to determine racing incident or penalty worthy incident. If they determine penalty worthy incident then the victim gets to do any repairs separate from their cap. No need to litigate over repair costs or fault. Repair costs are still payed for by the team whose car is damaged, just outside their cap. No need to litigate fault for that is what the stewards are there for. The teams accept the stewards findings as always, subject to a potential review of course. The stewards say is final as always and then the victimized team doesn’t take an additional hit to their cap for necessary repairs expenditures from being the victim of a penalty worthy act.

          2. I do take your point about fairly adjudicating what repairs were needed specifically due to a crash but I would think that could be well managed within their current ways and means of determining how many is spent by the teams.

          3. @robbie I still don’t believe this is either necessary or correct.

            Outside the cost cap, all teams must make allowances within their budget for damage which may be incurred in races. This damage may be incurred by many means, and it doesn’t matter who is at fault, it has long been established that it is just a cost of going racing.

            The cost cap just reduces the budget available for the top teams. Saying that it is suddenly unfair when it has always been acceptable before now comes across as hypocritical. Having a rule which takes this outside the controlled budget of the top teams, while leaving the budget-constrained teams (those with a lower budget than the cap) to still have to take it into account screams “one rule for the rich, another for the poor”.

            Now, if we ever get to the stage where all teams have the entire capped budget available, I could get on board as it will be about the same for everyone. As it is, it sounds more like CH whining that he no longer has, effectively, an unlimited budget to do as he wishes, and has to actually budget as smaller teams do.

      2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        6th August 2021, 21:22

        @drmouse @robbie I think the teams may not mind paying for mistakes as long as their team is allowed to make the repairs to the other team’s car.

        For instance, Red Bull could provide the parts (chassis, engine, etc) to Mercedes, and then Mercedes would be more than gracious to carry out the repairs to the best of its ability on behalf of Red Bull. :-) Of course, they may need some technical guidance and access to Adrian Newey as they ensure that the vehicle is built to spec!

  4. Surely they need to make budget allowances for crash / repair costs.

    If there is a blame system then there is going to be a lot of nasty and un-fun arguments. It could potentially lead into other Motorsport and if that happens, then it’s going to ruin the fun for a lot of people.

    Arguments about money ruin most things

    1. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
      7th August 2021, 5:51

      Surely they need to make budget allowances for crash / repair costs.

      A potential problem being over exaggeration of crash estimates can lead to teams funneling a part of those crash allowances into R&D for their car.

  5. You would also need an independent assessor (like your insurance company employs to check your car repair cost is reasonable after an accident).

    One can easily envisage, after the Hungarian debacle, a claim from McLaren and Red Bull for around 5 million each from Mercedes for the damage to 4 cars. Mercedes would want to employ an assessor to check damage claims were reasonable.

    Maybe F1 entrants will need to carry insurance cover, like many other sports have to do, for third party damage. The insurance premiums would need to fit under the budget cap.

    1. @Gerrit except the “independent assessor” isn’t independent at all; he/she works for the insurance company, and will always play it however it’s more beneficial for the insurance company. I think it would be a great option, but that independent assessor would have to be employed by the FIA rather than any of the affected parts.

      1. Yes. They work for themselves, not the policy holder. The “customer” in this case is is the shareholder of the company. And even where they paid out, they would subrogate and go after the other insurer/party to make themselves whole. You are imagining a kind of “social” insurance or no-fault liability system maybe.

        1. @dmw I probably didn’t explain myself as well as I should’ve. What I meant is that these independent assessors would work for the FIA, but their job wouldn’t be deciding who’s guilty or not, just how much the car is actually damaged, or how much the damage reparation should cost. Deciding who’s to blame, or how that cost is shared should be something written in the rules (probably depending on who’s considered responsible for the accident) and decided by other different people.

          For instance, in last week’s crashes, since both Bottas and Stroll where deemed “fully responsible” of their accidents, Mercedes/Aston Martin would have to pay all the costs associated with those crashes. You’d have the stewards considering them “fully responsible” for the accidents; a rule stating that a car considered “fully responsible” has to pay 100% of the cost (maybe if the driver is considered “predominantly responsible” the team only has to pay 80% of the cost, and if it’s deemed a “racing incident” each teams pays their own damages).

          But you’d also have an independent party estimating the actual cost of reparing the car, because this has two sides: a team might want to “inflate” the cost when caused by a rival team, but they might want to do the exact opposite when they have to pay for their damages so they don’t go over the cost cap.

          It’s obviously a quite complicated issue and by no means I’d ever solve it, just an idea. I’ve had long conversations with a friend who worked as an assessor for an insurance company, and the more I heard the more I prayed I never have to use my insurance for anything bigger than a scratch or a broken fender.

    2. I would love to see insurance companies (back) in Formula 1 in both their sponsorship and actuarial capacities.

      1. How good would that be, especially if including damage coverage.
        Imagine the annual discussions on no-claim discounts and which driver becomes uninsurable.

  6. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
    6th August 2021, 8:19

    I think this will heap even more pressure on the stewards to make the right decisions. Its difficult enough for them as it is.

    Regardless of blame, if teams did not set aside enough money for this kind of incident then that was just bad management.

    I argued many times the budget cap would have unforeseen and widespread negative effects and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Ditch the cap and regulate for cars which can be competitive at low cost. Its the only way.

    Anyone like to predict the next point of contention around the budget cap? Answers on a postcard.

  7. This will negatively impact the racing with drivers even more wary to get side by side a competitor. Personally I don’t agree with the cost cap anyway, never have done (simply a more equal distribution of wealth akin to the Premier League would keep wealth in the sport). Instead, because of this budget basket approach, the innevitable litigation culture starts to seep in.

    1. @john-h How do you know it won’t impact the racing positively with clean, long lasting fights and more cars in the battle following more tidy L1, T1’s? I am quite sure it will.

      1. Well I’m not sure, but it will lead to more conservative driving overall you would think @balue. Stay 2 seconds behind and all that, or just move over to avoid contact with a faster car.

    2. Even the EPL has a budget cap.
      It’s covered in the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations.

      Just ask Messi.

  8. Assuming this were to happen (I think it unlikely) then surely the team would write it into a drivers contract that if found guilty of causing a crash by the stewards then said driver would have to pay a percentage of the compensation claim from their own pockets.
    Might this lead drivers to be slightly more cautious?
    If so would that make racing more interesting as they play “Cat and Mouse” rather than “Bull in a china shop”?
    Or would it lead to a procession of guys who have expensive lifestyles to support and can’t afford to lose a chunk of their wages?

    1. I don’t think this will do anything to deter the Strolls or Mazepins of the world. Drivers get points on their license for this reason. However I do agree, some teams may put a clause of this nature in their contract; even if it does complicate the matter of who pays for what (with pay drivers/drivers who bring sponsorship money to the team.)

  9. IfImnotverymuchmistaken
    6th August 2021, 8:38

    Sooooo… Drivers asking their teams “Can I risk passing him?”, and the engineer replies “Hold on, I have to check with Accounting.”

    I foresee a lot of overtakes not getting done if teams are required to pay for damages to their competition.

    The only solution I can see is to exempt the repair costs generated by crashes (at least two drivers involved, no exemption for a driver just spinning and crashing himself in the barrier).

    1. “Drivers asking their teams “Can I risk passing him?”, and the engineer replies “Hold on, I have to check with Accounting.”


    2. I foresee a lot of overtakes not getting done if teams are required to pay for damages to their competition.

      I thought of that too but I don’t think it is the case. Now when you overtake someone and you collect damage, the costs are always for your team. So overtaking always had a risk. But in this new proposal: when you go for the overtake and the other driver is deemed guilty, you wouldn’t have to pay for the costs anymore, so it works both ways. And this is apart from the competitive nature of the driver of course.

    3. On the Marbles
      6th August 2021, 10:56

      Many people here seem to argue that the small teams who have budgets well below the cap are disadvantaged as they don’t have the money to make repairs even if they were exempt from the cap. but this has always been the case (not having money that is). They certainly don’t have the cash to pay their rivals either so arguably that is a bigger disadvatage if they are forced to pay (they will be starved of funds and their drivers instructed to take fewer risks than those in wealthier teams)

      Simply put, exempting repairs conducted for damage that was wholly or predominantly caused by another team seems the best compromise. Yes the lowest budget teams are still disadvantaged, but no more than they were before the cap when people weren’t complaining. However note that it’s the three big teams who are able to spend right up to the cap who have moaned about this issue.

      Requiring team to pay others could leave huge payments in the lap of the gods, a small error by a driver in a low budget team could cause a chain reaction taking 3 or 4 cars out resulting in 20% of the teams development budget going down the toilet and less investment in the car development for the season resulting in a spiral of decline that ultimately sees them out of the sport.

    4. Exemptions. Good thinking. This may be worth while looking into. I like the sounds of it. It’s reasonable.

    5. Sooooo… Drivers asking their teams “Can I risk passing him?”, and the engineer replies “Hold on, I have to check with Accounting.”

      The underlying premise of this is incredibly that F1 drivers won’t be able to make a clean pass. I don’t know if it speaks more of current F1 or the current crop of F1 fans.

  10. Thin end of a particularly wedge.
    Accountants once a servant of the business to keep the books straight & in order.
    By stealth accountants became financial controllers.
    Worldwide, business’ fell foul one way or another from financial control.
    Look at international business’. Controlled out of existence.
    Turn that nightmare loose in F1. END OF F1 very very rapidly.

    1. Totally agree.
      That’s as a person who was accounted out of two jobs.

  11. It seems Silverstone has opened a Pandora’s box upon F1, if this does go ahead will we see radio messages of “Stay behind, we cannot afford an overtake attempt “, could we see collusion between sister teams so money can transfer between them, or a team needing a new component and the sister team conveniently causing an incident that requires a new gear box, who will pay for an independent assessor to confirm the cost of replacement and if it is really needed, will drivers via there contract be required to pay for damages and driving accordingly, could this lead to the end of midfield battles in a race.
    There’s enough money swirling around F1 for this not to happen, classic case of ‘addressing the symptoms and not the disease’.

  12. I really don’t like the idea of teams compensating each other. The drivers of poorer teams will be instructed to take it easy, and richer ones will be able to bully their way through – or, there is a potential for a team to provoke a volatile driver into an overreaction to limit the teams financial abilities for upgrades, etc.
    But – I do like the ideas of the repairs of ‘innocent’ parties to be wholly or partially outside the cost cap.
    For instance, at Silverstone, Red Bull would have been able to account most of the repairs outside of the cap because Hamilton was ‘predominately’ at fault. And at the Hungaroring, all except Bottas and Stroll would be able to fix their cars outside the cap restrictions.

    1. I feel like this would benefit the richest teams and do nothing for the poorest. The poorest teams already have total budgets well below the cap, so if their cars are damaged, an exemption will have no effect.

      This really is a case, IMHO, of the richest teams finally having to put up with the conditions which the poorest have always suffered. I say, suck it up, buttercup!

      1. Well what can be done is that the repair costs would come out of the other team’s budget allowance so if a team is under the cap like some of the smaller teams they will not lose anything at all while the teams such as Mercedes and Red Bull will.

      2. All motor racing expenditure benefits the richer teams – no matter what.
        But instructing the guilty party to pay for repairs of a potentially much costlier machine is very much asking for trouble, whereas allowing the injured party to fix it outside the cost cap if it wasn’t their fault is a bit different. If it was their own driver to blame, tough – inside the cost cap it is.

        1. How about all teams and Pirelli pay XX millions each into an ‘insurance fund’ and the costs of all damage caused by ‘other parties’ be paid out of that bucket of money.

          That could move money towards the poorer teams and ensure Pirelli make safe tyres.

      3. @drmouse As per my response to you above, I hope and expect that F1 is heading away from having poorer teams in the way we have become accustomed, and that over the near future teams’ budgets will start to converge somewhat.

  13. This proposal will simply result in teams making claims for any damage received, as long as it can be blamed on another team. The complaining by team principals will be deafening as they will seek to punish other teams for any damage they receive, as it would be tactically advantageous to do so.

    While I am mostly in the “damage is part of the cost of racing” camp, I think maybe an insurance scheme could be a workable solution.

    Each team puts up a lump sum at the start of the year.

    It will cover damage to major components (e.g. engine, gearbox, chassis) as the result of a collision or event involving more than one car (single vehicle incidents not included).

    There will be an excess that is payable by the team if making a claim, to prevent claims being submitted for minor damage.

    Claims are paid out on a no-fault basis, so there is no bickering or tactical claims. However, the stewards could still issue fines where teams/drivers break regulations, which contributes to the insurance pool.

    Teams will be allowed to exceed the budget cap only by the payout amount resulting from the incident.

    At the end of the season, the remainder of the fund is set off against next year’s premium. If there is a deficit in the previous year, the premiums increase.

    The end result is that all teams are insulated from major financial shocks coming from damage due to serious collisions, but they all collectively pay for the risk of racing. There will be no tactical advantage to be gained from whinging that a competitor ran into your car.

    1. I had the same idea think it might work

    2. Insurance works where the premiums exceed the expected value of claims in a given period, and where potential claims in excess of reserves can be laid off on reinsurance or coinsurers. Do we have that in F1? I’m not sure. This is more akin to a “club” for large ocean vessels, where the excess claims are back up by a Lloyd’s syndicate or some other persons with a huge pile of cash doing nothing in particular. But those syndicate participants and insurers and intermediaries need to get paid money for the use of their money in this way. Are the teams going to pay for that?

      You have interesting thoughts on this. But I’m skeptical of the economics—I’m not sure it is worth it for team A to pay out (crash costs(crash probability))/20 per year when they are likely to have no major crash costs in a year at all. Also, they might be a bit bemused when team B gets paid out several million if their drivers smash up a couple chassis in a year. And teams don’t know how long they will be in the sport such that this “evens out.” It could well be just throwing money down a hole they could be using to make the car go faster.

  14. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    6th August 2021, 10:01

    How about giving the bill to the team whos driver is most responsible (so the 50/50 crashes are out of the picture but the 75-25 puts the blame naturally on the most-to-blame person) and let them make a choice: either 100% of it is paid by the team and results in a tighter budget for the remainder of the year, or they can share it 50/50 with the driver who caused the accident.

    Take 50% out of their paycheck meaning the driver will learn it the hard way (although 50% of Horner’s claim of 1.8m bucks is still less than a mil, which is chump change for some drivers) and the team only gets some punishment for their poor driver choice. Meanwhile the victim-team gets fully covered (they are allowed to use the money normally).

    In theory it would be rather very in my opinion, but a lot of it would come down to the stewards and the aftermath of their decision. Take Silverstone for instance: stewards ruled Hamilton as most guilty but his team backed him all the way regarding puting at least half the blame on Verstappen. With extra costs tied to it, it would become an even bigger mess. And that’s not even considering the absolute garbagebin of crap ‘fans’ threw at Red Bull and the stewards after pointing towards Hamilton as most-guilty. The fantasy some of those people showed in trying to bring maths (lol) into the crash as to try and prove it was Verstappens fault all along was hilarious, but the stewards would have to be forced to be a lot more (over)careful (and therefor probably tend to claim it was 50-50 to avoid public lynching), which in the end won’t lead to a more fair treatment of the victim.

    1. Driver will negotiate crash bill top-ups in his contract. You can’t “close” that system.

    2. And if the blame is 52:48?
      That’s still ‘predominately’

  15. Rules giving teams an extra budget because of a crash will benefit rich teams yet again and so reinforce the current pecking order because the poorer teams haven’t got that extra cash available as they are often well below the budget cap as they can’t afford the full spend.

    Secondly, deciding who is to blame and awarding compensation by the stewards or an FIA assessor will simply be the first stage of a long legal battle which is inevitable because of the huge amount of money involved, not only in the repair but in any loss of championship points. How do you compensate RedBull for the Bottas accident? Money for repairs is mentioned now but points will come into it later as any perceived loss of championship position is worth millions.

    The lawyers would have a field day, there would be hordes of future Albons pounding around tracks to prove some unprovable claim, and injunctions would fly to stop one team blaming another in the media, with drivers constrained from racing to avoid risk or avoid breaking an injunction not to go near such and such other team.

    I assume any claim would be paid to the other team from the current budget cap? So that too would turn into a weapon to win off the track. Make it as expensive as possible to hinder the paying team’s development.

    The only way is for the rich teams to do what the lowlier teams have always done, take it on the chin and get on with the racing.

  16. I feel immensely sorry for red bull after the past 2 races but I don’t think other teams paying for damages is a good plan. Imagine a scenario where a Williams driver makes a massive mistake at T1 and wipes out both Mercedes and both red bulls – currently let’s say the max penalty is a race ban for the driver. In a situation where teams have to pay for damages that situation would leave Williams with a multi million pound bill – in recent years that would have been enough to make the team go bust. That’s a worst case scenario but we shouldn’t be putting in rules where a worst case scenario involves teams going bust to pay for other teams damages.

    1. Spot on. Can you imagine Haas paying multimillion pound compensation to RedBull for wiping out two cars leading to team bankruptcy resulting in a grid with 18 cars. And the next week it happens to Williams. Down to 16.

      It would be a triumph of knee-jerk rule making. And there has been enough of that recently.

      The FIA seem to have rule makers incontinence which is slowly strangling racing. Any compensation scheme through charging other teams or bumping up the budget cap would open a stultifying regulatory can of worms the like of which we haven never seen before.

    2. I don’t get this. Why would it cost Williams more paying for other cars than their own? Why would it be such a catastrophe if they have to pay for crashing into other cars, when they would be reimbursed if others crashed into theirs?

    3. This week RB destroys Haas’s rear wing and pays them the cost of a replacement, $15,000.
      Next week Haas destroys RB’s rear wing and pays them the cost of a replacement, $50,000

      1. I agree that other teams shouldn’t compensate each other, but as I suggest above, if a driver/team is a victim of an incident in which one driver was penalized, then I think the victimized team of said penalty worthy incident should be able to affect their repairs separate from their cap. Driver goes off on his own and sustains damage? No change to how it currently works. Two drivers clash and one or both sustain damage, but it is deemed a racing incident officially, then both teams are on the hook for their repairs within the cap. But as soon as there is a victim of a penalty deemed incident, then I think said victim’s compensation should simply be that the repairs are still on them, but separate from the cap so that their cap is not also dented as the victims.

      2. If some “compensation scheme” were to be implemented, the only way it could work is if the FIA establishes a standard price list for all the car’s components. So in your example, a rear wing might be priced at $30,000. So HAAS would gain, but RB lose out.

  17. Pure unadulterated rubbish, if anything will kill Motor Racing stone cold dead it would be this. The big players are just angry about the budget cap and how it will take away their advantage. The thing is they come and go as they please as the market shifts they move to be a part of it. Motor Racing is a very effective form of advertisement, F1 is the most prestigious.
    This would be a can of worms like no other, trying to assign damages to one or more parties over an indecent would very likely end up in court I would think.

  18. It’s just another example of the unintended consequences that nobody really considers before pushing something into the sport.

    * Parc ferme for qualifying in 2003 made qualifying & race pace closer than it once was which took away some of the unpredictability from cars having poor qualifying pace but mega race setup pace.
    * Qualifying on race fuel & later publishing starting weights did likewise & also worked to devalue qualifying to an extent.
    * The long life component/cost saving stuff took away a lot of the unreliability which then took away the prospect of mid-field teams getting surprise results & the move towards larger/tarmac runoff did likewise by taking away a lot of the penalty of making mistakes.
    * DRS resulted in passing often been far too easy.
    * intentionally designed for High-degredation tires resulted in extreme levels of tire management, tiny operating windows & other tire related issues.
    * Testing ban gives fans less opportunity to see the cars & young drivers less opportunity to test them which in turn moved things more towards simulators which fans cannot see.

    There are others but these are just some of what comes off the top of my head right now.

  19. If this becomes a new rule it’ll destroy the sport,and we could see some of the poorer teams end up in debt and having to leave the sport..also we will start having legal battles that end up in the courts,,and things will start to get really messy…then ontop of all that, it’ll sterilise the sport,because it’ll discourage any hard racing,as it’ll be seen as to risky.then the sport will become very boring and predictable.the reason why the last few races were entertaining is because of the crashes and what happened after in the races.

    1. the reason why the last few races were entertaining is because of the crashes and what happened after in the races.

      I despair at this kind of attitude

      1. It made the races less entertaining, iMHO, but made the comment boards more so. You could argue that it meant that less likely winners won, but some would argue it robbed us of battles between title protagonists, which is also entertaining to some. I get it that some people don’t care about Hamilton or Verstappen though and want to see other things going on.

  20. the budget cap means there is no ”let them race philosophy”. I support fully this cap and this idea of compensation.

  21. Totally agree. Compensation based on stewards ruling. This will seriously limit dirty driving and crazy risk-taking.

    The way it is now can’t continue. Someone smashes your engine, and you get a massive bill and grid drop for needing a new one? It’s practically bizarre how no one could foresee the scenario.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      6th August 2021, 15:01


      Yes, the people with the most questionable track record in the history of any sport, should be deciding not just to apportion blame but also damages.

      1. Agreed that the track record of the stewards has been pretty questionable over the years :D

        But seriously, as I keep repeating: We need less rules, not more. We tend to try to fix a rule that is not working with even more rules. Those should be dropped instead and we should start from scratch.
        Crashing is part of the game. Next time it’s maybe going to be a Mercedes that will be destroyed…
        Maybe teams can find a gentleman’s agreement and keep some money in hand to repair damages but that should be up to them and not a rule.
        The penalties however are more annoying. What do we have any engine limitations and therefore engine penalties for? Just drop them. Let them build how many they want. Give them freedom where to spend their money. There’s absolutely no more need for things like that when you have a budget cap…

  22. If financial compensation for crashes is ever implemented, that will kill racing more than anything else this sport has endured.
    I think that a lot of the worry comes from the scenario where drivers crash into others intentionally. If that ever happened it would be punished just like it has been in the past (e.g. Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve).. it would bring the sport in disrepute and that would lead to a lot more than 5 grid places penalty.
    What has happened to RBR over the last two races is costly (financially and otherwise) but does not result from intentional actions – therefore is it their share of bad luck, which I hope will balance out to a reasonable extent with the other teams over the season.

  23. NeverElectric
    6th August 2021, 14:14

    Wait, they’re not insured??

    1. @NeverElectric Sarcasm right?

  24. This is terrible idea. I say that as a member of the profession who usually benefits from protracted disputes about fault and liability. Or because of it. There are so many reasons why trying to stand up a kind of common law of torts within the sport would be impossible to implement, and result in unending disputes that will certainly spill over into litigation in “real” jurisdictions.

    Set aside the question of how to apportion liability (do you want, say, contributory or another theory), and the question of proximate causation and foreseeability, or their analogs in “civilian” jurisdictions. How will you price your homemade suspension uprights or torsion bars made by your staff in your factory? Even if it is a piece brought in on contract, that item is not a commodity and has no “market price.” Will you price it on the price paid or the replacement price, which may be enormous if your vendor has to do a one-off and will renegotiate aggressively on the basis that someone else is paying? Look at the pit lane accident last week. Haas would surely be keen to get a check cut for their control arms and steering rack and new paint and whatever. Alfa Romeo will dispute every penny of it. Are we going to have discovery/disclosure proceedings to sort that out? No it will just be more carping, and whining, and blaming and costs are large actual law suits in real courts. Let’s not go there.

  25. John Toad (@)
    6th August 2021, 14:26

    This will open the door for teams to claim damages against circuit owners or promoters.
    “The curbs on turn two are too high and damaged the front wing and floor”
    “The runoff in turn six is not enough and resulted in my car hitting the barrier instead of just stopping”
    “The track in turn three is to narrow causing our car to collide with another”
    and so on.
    This will be an absolute nightmare for potential litigation.

  26. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    6th August 2021, 14:59

    That’s going to kill Red Bull… They will need at least $10 million a year to cover Max’s crashes and other drivers won’t back off as they get a free new car, free new engine, free everything. Sorry, Max! You touch it, you bought it!

    He might have to drop to F2 for a while!

    Just kidding

    1. Hope that joke goes for the whole comment, cause very very rarely does verstappen cause anyone else to retire.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        6th August 2021, 18:23

        @esploratore1 that’s a great follow-up joke!

  27. Probably not a good idea for RB to continue with the crash or get out of our way public stance, or Max’s mantra that he will never give way in a 50/50. Which to Max probably means 30/70 in his opponents favour.

    You can just imagine the conversations as well. You owe me $50,000 for that rear wing. But it’s the Monza wing, you were never going to use it again! Not true, that was going straight back on the car once we got to Singapore.

  28. This absolutely won’t happen. It isn’t a case of either team (or any team) not being able to afford it and going to the wall. The costs impact their development programmes, which impacts their performance on track. For RBR, Mercedes and Ferrari this hasn’t been an issue in the past, but they will find little sympathy amongst the other teams who have had to deal with these pressures before. Horner can’t stand the idea that they may now be beaten by the smaller teams because everyone is spending within the same budget – and as a constructor and PU manufacturer, there won’t be anyone else to blame going forward.

  29. I’d be interested if there are any examples that exist in any other professional sport where competitors pay the costs for injuries or damage to other competitors. At least in the US professional sporting world, this idea could never be put in place.

    1. In yacht racing we need to carry third party and public liability insurance to pay for damages to other boats and injuries to competitors/officials if in the wrong. Depending upon what class is sailed it is cover required is usually around US$2M for dinghy classes.

      Remember in some countries (USA looking at you) you can be sued for damages or injuries if negligence can be proved in a sporting event. This goes for event organisers as well.

      Your entry will not be accepted for racing unless you have insurance. Be you Corinthian or professional.

      In the USA it would be unusual to NOT have third party and public liability insurance for motor racing entrants. I would suggest, like in yachting, this would be mandatory upon race entry. Worth a read.

  30. This is unbelievably dumb to even be talking about this. Even by F1 standards. This is like adding auto insurance with blame being assessed as we deal with on the streets. When we should be going to no fault insurance these idiots want to add another layer of costs to F1. How stupid.

  31. Now this is something, also engine and and gearbox should be rebuildable without penalty following a crash not caused by the driver.

    Red Bull is now potentially 3-5 million down on budget, 15 grid slot penalties. All because two Mercedes drivers missed their braking zones.

    1. @jureo I haven’t seen any confirmation from Red Bull that either #2 engine is unusable.

      Regarding Verstappen’s engine – the assumption is that his engine was damaged as a result of his crash at Silverstone. However, the engine was flown back to Japan and checked at Honda’s factory. They declared the engine was fine. Verstappen ran FP1, FP2, FP3 and qualifying in Hungary with that engine before Honda discovered it was cracked.

      Now, given the above, how can Red Bull prove the engine was damaged as a result of the Silverstone crash and not just a wear and tear break caused by running at Hungaroring? Blaming Hamilton/Mercedes for it may be just a convenience for Red Bull.

      I will be very surprised if any team is able to avoid engine penalties this season with a scheduled 23 races and three sprints.

  32. Hmmm. Is it just me or does this smack of the “Teams” not actually building a crash budget into their financials for the season when in fact they must have and now we are seeing the obligatory maneuvering for advantage, and wounded lover attitudes come out?
    The only way to work this is to abstract it well and trully out of team influence and establish an F1 “Insurance” program where FOM and FIA take money out of the prize fund at the end of every year and put it into an escrow account to be paid out to teams suffering damage when it is proven that said damage is 100% the fault of another teams driver. Lets see how many teams vote for that scenario. I am certain Binotto’s paw would be glued to his thigh when less prize money was up for debate.

  33. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    6th August 2021, 18:45

    @jureo According to Horner, Lewis missed it by 23 feet. There was also a lot understeer on Lewis’ car (well, at least there was understeer on someone’s car during the sprint race and qualifying so we can add that to the list) and he didn’t go all the way to the inside of the corner.

    At least Max didn’t defend twice heading into the corner, nor cut in too much, or brake over 23 feet too late, and make a correction that wasn’t enough.

    It’s a good thing the stewards made the correct decision there even without all the supporting evidence that Horner collected with Albon on Forza Horizon!

    If anything, the stewards should pay for Red Bull’s damages! Given the logic of the penalty, that is the only logical answer as to who should be responsible for the damages.

    1. Mark in Florida
      6th August 2021, 19:21

      (@freelittlebirds) Lewis was indeed found guilty no matter how you keep trying to spin it. If there was a reimbursement plan in effect as Binnotto aluded to Merc would have to pay up their portion of the accident. I think Horner and Toto need to shut up and soldier on like the other teams have done for years now. This is nothing new in the sport. It’s just new for the privileged.

  34. How about F1 creating its own insurance pool, whereby every team has to contribute, say, $3 million, so there’d be a $30 million fund to pay for crash damage, but only for damage caused by another team? Something like Dieter Rencken’s “scale of one to four, with drivers (or teams) found to be guilty on a 25/75 (partially to blame, the other predominantly so), 50/50 (no claim), 100/0 (wholly)” would apportion the payouts.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      7th August 2021, 14:29

      That’s an interesting concept. I guess the payout would have to be standardized to avoid overcharging.

    2. I like that idea. But only as a kind of a gentleman’s agreement. And what is left at the end of the years should be distributed in an order that favours those teams and drivers that caused the fewest incidents

  35. It’s fairly simple really.

    My guess is that teams already put a reasonable allowance in for damage repairs and I’d be surprised if that allowance didn’t include at least 1 write off.

    Based on that I expect the teams will (if the cost exceeds that allowance) spend over their cap and then throw themselves at the mercy of the “audit” that they won’t get until March the following year.

    If they can prove that the repair costs were excessive and that their budget allowance was indeed “reasonable”, I imagine they’ll get a pass, regardless of the fact that the budget was exceeded.

    Pretty much storm in a teacup issue, brought up to add to the seasons “drama”.

  36. For me, quite aside from the issues of apportionment of blame, the issue is that the smaller teams are usually middle of the back backwards. They also often have the last experienced drivers. Therefore, I suspect you will find that the worst cars in the hands of the last experienced drivers in the most challenging and congested point on the grid going into the first corner means that they will have the most crashes.

    Those crashes will also cause the most damage because the pinball effect is going to be worse in the pack.

    So essentially, the midfield and backmarkers will be bankrupted by this or at least have a pathetic development fund as they need a massive contingency fund, just in case.

    1. @tdm Do facts really bear that out? This year, the write-offs have happened more to the front, and the L1 squeezes (typcially 3 cars into a corner) seem to happen more in the midfield, but where damages are anyway mostly wing, suspension or maybe floors. You also have to factor in how with such a rule drivers will be more careful, especially those from smaller teams with lesser budget.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      7th August 2021, 14:28

      @tdm Excellent point – it would penalize younger drivers and smaller teams. In fact, the stewards may not penalize them as they’d take into account the implications.

  37. The more logical solution is insurance. Bring in an insurance company as a sponsor for it, so the teams get very favorable rates.

  38. RedBull has a point. Let them repair their cars outside the budget cap. After all it was not racing causing the damage it were driver errors from both Mercedes pilots trying to race above their skills. I would suggest a couple of racing lessons for both.

  39. Formula Lawyer coming to a race court house near you! Funny the one advocating for cost cap now crying about cost cap. Didn’t they see it coming? Who is going to pay when a driver bins it on his own? The driver? When a tire blow up? The tire company or the team tire guy who inflated it? Car goes off on oil left from another car “hand grenading” who pays? Engine manufacturer? Team? Driver for no pulling over in time? Circuit owner for not using oil absorbing asphalt? The only one that are going to make money out of this stupidity are the lawyers! Wonder…. should lawyering then be considered an integral part of racing and be integrated under the cost cap?

  40. I’ve taken a deeper look ay costs for various F1 car components, and recommend the article by James Elson in Motorsport:

    My proposal for a “no fault” self-insurance scheme, with contributions from FOM and each of the teams on the order of $10 million USD a year would float a pool of funds to compensate individual teams for accidents with drivers from other teams only–solo crashes and intra-team crashes would be excluded, to focus the scheme on the “innocent bystander” losses. If FOM matched the teams the fund would aggregate $200 million USD each year. Anything left over could be rebated to the teams as a bonus for good safety, or rolled over to the next years’ fund.

    The “no fault” idea is that it stops needless costs, disagreement, ambiguity and hard feelings by not setting up an “adjuster” who would determine 25/75 or 50/50 fault in each crash. That’s not necessary to make an insurance scheme run successfully. Instead the “adjuster” would simply determine the amount the team would receive in settlement, regardless of who was at fault in cross-team crashes. There might be 4-5 categories such as chassis, engine, gearbox, brakes and suspension, floorboards and aero, and total collision, each with a monetary value attached.

    For example, a happened in Hungary, if Bottas collides with Norris, Verstappen and Perez, each of those three cars would receive a settlement from the fund based on how damaged each component is, regardless of who caused the crash. Crashes happen and it’s more important to protect the innocent bystander driver who might get the worst of it–as happened with all three of Verstappen, Perez and Norris in Hungary.

    Engines and gearboxes are the most expensive, and hardest to calculate the true cost to the team, given the deals suppliers strike with teams. So some research would need to be done to find a fair balance between “list” and “actual” costs. A total wipe out loss of a car is likely a $10-20 million USD expense–hence the wailing from Red Bull and McLaren, etc. This no fault insurance fund would pay out something like $10 million for a total loss.

    Teams might be capped at $20 or $30 million USD in total claims for the year, just to keep the fund afloat. But in an era of budget c ap F1 some provision should be made to insure teams against catastrophic loss from cross-team accidents. By taking the “blame” issue out of the process, teams aren’t plunged into litigation over who did what–but still teams are insured against cross-team catastrophic losses, up to a limit.

    It’s a fix for a real problem F1 has, now that there’s a $140 million USD budget cap. We all insure our cars that we drive every day off the track, usually to cover the worst possible accidents. “No-fault” self-insurance with maximum caps on benefits, is a proven scheme that F1 would benefit greatly by adopting.

    1. In my Hungary example, I should point out that Mercedes would–importantly–be qualified to file a claim for the losses to Bottas’ car–this is a “no fault” scheme.

      After a 3-year experiment, if there are chronic offenders and teams always exceeding the maximum payout then the schedule would have to be re-examined. But manning-up with high priced lawyers and insurance adjusters to argue about “blame” is a fruitless exercise that in a “no-fault” scheme would generally even out between the teams.

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