Ferrari face £2.1 million repair bill for crashes in first half of season

2021 F1 season

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Ferrari has revealed the total cost of the car damage it has incurred over the first half of the 2021 F1 season as it continues to push for compensation for crashes.

Team principal Mattia Binotto revealed Ferrari’s repair bill for the 11 races held so far this season.

“If I look at the damage we had so far since the very first race we had in Bahrain up to the last race in Hungary, if I count all damages we have on track, it’s more than 2.5 million Euros,” he said. “That’s showing how significant they are, and it’s only half of the season.”

The figure includes single and multiple-car crashes. “These are overall damages,” said Binotto. “Sometimes we can damage ourselves.”

The total, equivalent to £2.1 million, accounts for slightly more than 2% of the total spending the team is allowed under the budget cap. “We’ve got some contingency in our final budget gap which I think we need to have because you never know the surprises we have from now to the end and crashes and damage,” said Binotto.

Charles Leclerc has been involved in two significant crashes this year. He was taken out at the first corner by Lance Stroll in Hungary, and hit the barrier during qualifying in Monaco.

Carlos Sainz Jnr also crashed his Ferrari during qualifying last weekend, and the pair have been involved in other, less damaging incidents.

Following the Hungarian Grand Prix crash Binotto called for teams to be given exemptions from the budget cap to pay for repairs arising from crashes they were not responsible for. However he admitted introducing such exemptions to the financial regulations would be complicated.

Start crash, Hungaroring, 2021
Analysis: Compensation for crash damage? It might just happen in budget cap F1
“Obviously there’s been a lot of discussions and still as well discussion ongoing,” he said. “If there is a crash, there is a guilty driver and you are not [at fault], if you have been damaged, should that be exempt from budget cap?

“I think it’s certainly an important point. The reason why I mentioned the 2.5 is to show that overall the damages can be significant and so, should we consider a different type of regulation in those cases?

“Certainly there is merit for it [but] I think that certainly there is no obvious solutions. But I think something that no doubt we will discuss with the FIA, F1 and all the other teams in the next coming weeks, and try possibly to address it if there is any solution for the future.”

F1’s budget cap was introduced for the first time this year and set at $145 million. It will fall to $140m next year and $135m the year after.

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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...
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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38 comments on “Ferrari face £2.1 million repair bill for crashes in first half of season”

  1. So, for those not keeping count, each of the three biggest spenders in F1 having told us their crash repair bills at some point this year and we are only halfway through the season.

    This is getting tiresome as I seriously doubt that you cannot put an accurate price on crash damage in F1. What don you include in the cost? R&D, staff costs, manufacturing costs, the huge electrical cost involved in running your autoclaves? All of the above? Do you do this for each crash? Parts on these cars have service lives, the teams surely budget for the fact that bits will wear and will be thrown in the bin eventually? This is so clearly motivated by having a swipe at the budget cap knowing that the FIA will be seeking to reduce this further over time. It is also getting tiresome because no one is asking Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari to spend so much to go racing…they make that choice themselves.

    1. @geemac it’s an interesting point that only the big 3 have been commenting publicly about it – you have to wonder what Haas are spending! Maybe Mazepin sr’s sponsorship of his son falls outside the budget cap?! I have absolutely no idea how it works.

      The other important point here is that some teams are almost certainly spending on the edge of the cap (leaving aside the suggestion that teams are finding ways around it) in which case they will not have the contingency for repairing crash damage. what happens if a team runs out of parts before the end of the season? It would be slightly ridiculous if there is a Spa ’98 style crash that causes multiple empty spots on the grid before the year is out.

      1. Perhaps it is because the 3 big teams have a lot of people working for them, and they are not keen to send so many people to the labour market. These teams have had to make the most adjustment and are finding it difficult. Many of the lower teams won’t complain because they don’t even run near the limits of the budget cap.

      2. It’s not that the smaller teams (like Haas) have some way of solving repair bills outside of the budget cap so much @frood19, but rather that only those 3 teams are close to or on the limit of what they are allowed to spend.

        While a team like Haas, or Williams might have an almighty struggle to make ends meet, especially with high repair bills, provided they find the money to pay for them (i.e. Mazepin’s father etc) they are nowhere near getting even close to hitting the maximum amount of money they are allowed to spend within the budget cap.

        I agree with @geemac that this surely must be the top 3 biggest spenders to put pressure on the FIA to fight off the push for gradual lowering of the cap.

  2. Its a tricky subject because if you start getting guilty parties to pay for damages, we’ll see lots of excruciating court cases between teams trying to contest or overturn decisions of blame, as millions will be at stake. I don’t want to see F1 turn into the World Insurance Championship please. At the other end of it, the cost of damages when you’re not at fault does seem like an unfair burden, so some provision should be made to allow a team to repair/replace damaged parts without going over budget or gaining an advantage (replacing a broken old spec wing for a non-cost capped newer spec, for example).

    1. +1

      Lawyers, courts and bean counters is the last thing we want see more of in motor racing.

      1. And Binotto is not suggesting other teams would pay for repairs. I made my opinion on this on this topic that had it’s separate article the other day, similar to what Binotto is saying, in that if someone incurs damage due to another driver’s penalty worthy act, then those repairs should be segregated from the team’s cap. Driver(s) goes off on his own, or driver(s) involved in what is deemed a racing incident by the stewards, then team(s) do their repairs within their cap. But driver(s) taken out by another driver and a penalty for the offender is issued by the stewards, then the victim (the team) of the penalty worthy act gets to do their repairs without it harming their cap i.e. outside of their cap. The perpetrator of the penalty worthy act and his team do their repairs within their cap of course. No lawyers needed, just the same policing for the caps that is being done now, so that repairs done when a team can do so outside their cap are strictly the repairs needed from the results of the offending act.

  3. List of topics that came became hot topic only to die down suddenly:
    Track limits, flexo-wings, crash expenses.

    Just like the first two made barely any difference to teams’ pecking order, this topic will also go away in a couple of races time.

    1. Track limits are a constant problem – it’s just more obvious at some tracks than it is at others.
      Guaranteed it will keep coming up in the future, until they finally either enforce them properly or remove any rules about them.

  4. The quote is “it’s more than 2.5 million Euros”
    Yet in the title and text of this international racing website you put it in GBP.
    Not in the currency of the company which incurred it, not in the currency of the Budget Cap regulation, but in GBP.

    Maybe you should go back to a .co.uk domain.

    1. Indeed!

      Some consistency may help. Binotto’s quote is in EUR, the headline in GBP and the cost cap in USD. It will be easier to make sense if all numbers followed one, or at max, 2 currencies.

      EUR and USD are more popular, FYI.

      1. But 8 of the 10 F1 teams account for their spending in GBP, as they are incorporated as UK businesses, so saying ‘€ & $ are more popular’ is irrelevant.

        1. This site is not solely for UK readers, it’s an international F1 site read through out the world. British pound is rather irrelevant to most worldwide readers since it’s currently only used on an island. Then add to the fact that Ferrari is not in the UK, it’s located in the EU and does not use that particular currency, so again using pounds is irrelevant; they use Euros and published the cost amount in Euros.
          The writer however, regardless of location and market writing for, they should convert & use the all numbers in same currency when comparing cost amounts and budgets amounts of any team. If readers in UK are not able to understand Euro currency amounts in comparison to their own. The writer should include those numbers ex: Ferrari crash costs is €2.48m Euros (£2.1 million), Annual allowed F1 budget is $145US (€124, £105m)

          1. @optimaximal

            PS> Ferrari crash costs is €2.48m Euros (that’ £2.1 million for UK readers) could be considered chump change when hundreds of millions are being spent annually (annual budget + all the other €€€ spent outside of that). Plus replacement costs could be well half of what they’re reporting if they use the same R&D data, tooling and specs as used in the orig. parts they need to replace which should reduce the replacement costs substantially.

    2. Sterling and the US Dollar are historically the two most international recognised currencies around the world. For virtually all commerce they are the gold standard (literally – see what you purchase gold in?) against which other currencies including the Euro are often fixed. That’s why oil for example, is sold in Sterling and dollars. See what the world bank loans in etc.

      The Euro while often quoted does not have that history or that standing. It is after all just 20 odd years old. Not hundreds. Try using a Euro in Kuwait, Saudi or The Sudan Or The Lebanon (actually forget that one…)

      Given the Euro is running around 85-90% of Sterling and not a whole lot different to the Dollar at the moment it should not be too difficult to work out the rough amounts discussed here.

      Or you could go and find a European or more probably Dutch website where you might be happier. If you can find one of course.

      This site is whatever and whomever Keith decides to address it to. Given it is a free site that is his choice. Equally given English is the known standard language for technology and engineering and thus racing, he and others here write articles in English. Would you prefer some other?

      Further, some of us pay to support this site from all over the world, it may just be that we do not rise to such nitpicking ridiculousness over currency quotations and instead appreciating the quality and quantity of the information without arriving, making lots of noise, cr@##£&g on everything without registering, whenever there is a disagreeable topic and then clearing off until next time. Some of us can see above nationalism and enjoy the racing content.

      @jff
      @sumedhvidwans@redpill

  5. I’d like to see the breakdown of costs for their claims. I think Ferrari, Merc and RB maybe adding things that should not be included in the cost of replacing or repairing of the car.

    1. Can you elaborate on that?
      What kind of costs do you expect to be added?

      1. Mainly R&D, portions of permanent staff costs, overhead etc. I would think. As opposed to cost to replace.

        like do you count having to spin up the autoclave for a new wing, and do you actually have a spare that you can use, made in a batch. One is more expensive.

        1. If a car is a total loss they have ample time to rebuild a new chassis with the spares. After that you will have to stock the spares again.
          No R&D.
          Maybe extra work hours (rightly so) and of course new parts.
          Maybe extra testrig work for some parts, like the engine.

          1. I am honestly glad you never worked for me while I was an Engineering Director @erikje

            There are fixed costs amortised across the financial year to consider along with a heap of other costs as indicated above your comment related to the actual extra loading on the manufacturing base. How many times do you think you can use a tool die or Autoclave before it needs replacement?

            For example Valeo spend hundreds of thousands on injection machine dies per year. To make wiper blades. That’s just the dies not the machines.

            It may be helpful for you to read a book on basic accounting or manufacturing as this will help you understand the huge variations in the quoted amounts by the TPs – I suspect some are quoting just parts and others the entire cost including the variables.

          2. @drgraham Sure that makes perfect sense, but I would think that if they were to agree to something such as Binotto has suggested, which I had as well, in that if a car incurs damage due to a penalty worthy act of another, as deemed by the stewards, then ‘simply’ the victim of the penalty worthy act gets to do their repairs outside of their budget cap. And then of course yes comes into it what would entail the entire repair bill, but surely there could be some sort of formula for that, or at least in the very general sense, does it really matter, as the team is still doing their own repairs on their own dime…just not within their budget cap, so that their budget isn’t affected when someone else was at fault for the damages incurred to their car. An own crash, or a racing incident as deemed by the stewards, and the repairs are done by teams within their budget.

            I would think that with what Binotto is proposing, all they would have to prove is that they are strictly repairing their car, and there are already measures in place for policing how much they spend on their cars and on how much they can/can’t develop due to their caps.

    2. I wonder if if they published the cost of each part to manufacture or have a base cost. Would be good to to see purely to understand if a red bull front wing costs a million dollars more than ferrari, what the hell is it they are doing..!

  6. Just have it that ‘not at fault’ crashes, i.e. Leclerc taken out at the first corner by Lance Stroll in Hungary, fall outside the budget cap.

    1. What would you do in a hamilton-rosberg spain 2016 situation? When it’s not clear who’s at fault, do both count towards the budget cap?

  7. I would have hoped that when teams did the budgets for the season they budgeted a respectable amount for wear and tear and damage – any established team that hasn’t done so will struggle and rightly so to be honest. They have historic figures to ballpark against, and they already know they have a cap to work towards, not allowing for this in advance is just poor accounting and management.

    As to other teams paying for damage they may have caused – absolutely not a good idea unless there is some sort of “Sporting Insurance” that could be taken out. Otherwise – would you trust someone in an opposing team to tell you how much reparation for damage you owed them . . how can you trust that number – no chance. You would be leaving your budget open to another team to abuse.

  8. Every team banks 5 mil repair money to fia at the end of the season and can withdraw it during the season. What is left will be given back at the end of the season. Problem solved.

    1. Banl at the START of the season of course.

      1. No, really, it should be at the END of the season. They’re all used to the concept of getting their prize money drip-fed throughout the year thanks to Bernie’s chicanery.

        They need to budget appropriately throughout the year then get it back as a end-of-year payment otherwise teams will game it to get money that’s ostensibly for repairs but will be realistically sunk into ongoing R&D via clever accounting. After all, if Wing Spec A is wrecked but Wing Spec B is imminent, you’re just going to build the R&D for Spec B into the cost given to the FIA of replacing the part.

    2. @pejuee

      Spot on.

      I am amazed the budget meeting did not include a few accountants and manufacturing directors all of whom would have immediately suggested something similar.

      Naive team principles I am afraid.

      1. @drgraham Not sure if it is fair to speak of naive team principals at this point, since they seem to be only talking about potentially talking about this formally. I’m sure if they get to having formal organized meetings about this then all aspects will be brought up. For now it sounds to me like some are talking to each other in the paddock at the races, but I don’t get the impression they have talked formally yet. I’m sure when Liberty and teams were settling on even agreeing to do budget caps and how to police them, this kind of thing would have been brought up, but the broader goal was to agree to caps with which to begin, which was a huge step. If there’s fine tuning to be done, so be it.

  9. #PrayForFerrari

    1. Rebuild Ferrari!

    2. #PayForFerrari Mama mia!

  10. Not entirely relevant, but Ferrari complaining about the cost of crash damage reminds me of the movie Grand Prix (1966), where Ferrari boss Manetta says to Pete Aron after the latter has written off both BRM team cars, “… but I can afford that. I wouldn’t be in this business if I couldn’t afford that.”

    1. Mistakenly reported this comment. I think the report button should be far away from the reply and probably with a dialog that asks if you are sure you want to report.

      Back to the BRM team.
      In the past teams would go sourcing for funds even as the season was underway. So a repair bill was no problem.
      With the cost caps, Even if you have $1Billion sitting under your desk, you are not allowed to touch it once you have reached the limits of the cap.

  11. Nobody should lose sight of the fact that all the teams agreed to this. As much as they dislike it, they need to get on with it.

    I can’t imagine the complexity of trying to introduce, codify and police a system where crash damage has to be assessed, valued, blame apportioned and a bill produced. Let alone the endless appeals and court cases. It will never happen.

    Suck it up and get on with it. Just like you would have done last season. Who knows, in the end it may actually bring all the teams closer together in performance. Wouldn’t that be nice.

  12. I’d like to know how that figure compares to previous years for Ferrari and others.

    My guess would be that it would be fairly similar. I can’t imagine any team not having an allowance for damage in their budgets and that would have allowed for at least one potential write off surely?

    It’s motor racing and crash damage happens – it would be farcical to not expect some during a season and equally farcical not to have made allowance for it.

  13. These are supposed to be the best drivers in the world and they can’t make it through the first corner? There were 70 laps in Hungary. It was raining. Caution should have been the call to every driver from every team. But, instead we end up with 25% of the field knocked out in the first corner because drivers/teams feel they don’t have a chance to score points (get money) if they don’t move up 5 places on the first lap. I think it says a lot about F1 – the difference between teams and the point structure and money payout system.
    In my mind, crashes on the first lap are not racing incidents – even the max / lewis crash in England. Personally, I’d like to see driver’s found at fault of a crash on the first lap to be disqualified from the race – if they can continue, or disqualified from the next race if they can’t. It’s a mania and (to me) it makes racing less interesting.

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