Mick Schumacher, Haas, Hungaroring, 2021

Haas reject call for budget cap breaks to pay for crash damage

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In the round-up: Haas team principal Guenther Steiner sees no need to change the budget cap rules to help teams pay for crash damage.

In brief

Steiner rejects call for crash compensation

After Ferrari suffered £2.1 million of crash damage over the first 11 races of the season, team principal Mattia Binotto suggested teams should be given exemptions from the budget cap to pay for crash damage not caused by their own drivers. But Haas team principal Guenther Steiner, whose team have also suffered several costly crashes this year, does not agree.

“We need to live with that, we need to budget for this,” said Steiner. “We need to be flexible enough, that’s good management.

“Because then all of a sudden, if we have less crashes, do we bring it down again, the budget cap? So we adjust it for how many crashes you’ve got?

“I think it’s part of racing and will be part of how much risk you take in a race and whatever you do. It’s part of racing, the crashes. You cannot adjust the budget regulation [based] on how many crashes you’ve got. For me it doesn’t make any change is needed on this one.”

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Comment of the day

Aston Martin’s explanation for why it decided not to appeal Sebastian Vettel’s disqualification did not impress Keith:

The PR spin on this statement is nauseating. The full verdict of the FIA was that although there was evidence of a fuel system failure, that it was irrelevant as they still failed to comply with the regulation of providing a one litre fuel sample post race, regardless of the cause. They are trying to make it sound like they proved their case but have decided against appealing further, when in fact the FIA showed that they never had grounds to appeal in the first place.

It’s unfortunate for them but no more unfortunate than a small technical issue that results in a ‘DNF’. But I would have a lot more sympathy for them as a team if they took it on the chin and stopped trying to make themselves out to be the victims, as they did with the floor regulation change earlier in the year too.
Keith Campbell (@Keithedin)

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  • 45 comments on “Haas reject call for budget cap breaks to pay for crash damage”

    1. Well of course Haas is going to reject it. Their team has a higher chance of causing damage to others…

      1. So far they have been damaging mostly their own cars Don. Apart from the crash in the pitlane last race where Kimi ended Mazepin’s race with the unsafe release.

        1. And their livery explains it all.

      2. The only chance of a decent result for Haas, is dependant on cars actually racing in F1 keep colliding, till they don’t have enough funds to put up a car.

      3. I think it has more to do with the fact that allowing crashes to be repaired outside the budget cap wouldn’t help them at all, as their total budget is already less than the cap. Basically, allowing repairs outside the cap will only ever benefit those with a higher budget available than the cap, so will actually disadvantage the poorest teams on the grid. They are right to fight against it.

      4. Even if they drop the crash compensation idea, there still needs to be a change where teams don’t get tech penalty because of other people crashing into them. Gearbox, engine etc. That’s just an affront to sport.

    2. Mattia Binotto suggested teams should be given exemptions from the budget cap to pay for crash damage not caused by their own drivers.

      Yes, this would be unfair on Hass, as nearly all their damage will be caused by their own drivers. 😄

    3. If a wreck can cost over a million dollars, and the stewards decide who caused it and therefore whether or not that sum can be added back into the books, then the stewards’ decisions will carry an immense monetary value. Does anyone else see an ugly opportunity for graft and corruption here? Oh, I’m sorry. Race officials come from another planet where such things never happen.

      Reply moderated
      1. True, that’s a good point, as I don’t think stewards have a good record in the fans’ eyes on average, from what I see personally and hear, let alone if they can make money out of it.

      2. That is already here.

        Bottas got 5 places penalty for taking out three cars.
        – Norris will get 10 places for the first and 5 for the other parts of the 4th PU.
        – Verstappen will get 10 places for the first and 5 for the other parts of the 4th PU.
        – Perez will get 10 places for the first and 5 for the other parts of the 4th PU.

        Stroll got 5 places penalty for taking out at least one car.
        – Leclerc will get 10 places for the first and 5 for the other parts of the 4th PU.

    4. Good to see Jack Aitken on the mend and in high spirits following his massive accident.

      Strangest news story of the day appears to be in Moto GP world, where Yamaha have suspended Maverick Vinales, accusing him of attempting to deliberately blow up his engine!

    5. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      13th August 2021, 0:55

      I guess Haas is way under budget so it doesn’t affect them.

      1. Going over the Budget Cap doesn’t affect Haas, but the effects of a crash on their financial expenditure plan for this year are just as real for them as for every other team. It might even be the cost to Haas is more real because every part in an F1 car has to perform. You can’t have cheap parts in an F1 car. So Haas has to build or buy parts that could cost proportionally more of their budget compared to what a team operating close to the Budget Cap pay.

        1. @drycrust

          True, but most of the suggestions at the moment are just to exclude paying for crash damage caused by others from the cost cap. This would have absolutely zero effect for the poorest teams on the grid, and would hand an advantage back to those with the largest budgets.

      2. Yeah that’s my thought. If they’re comfortably under the budget cap, why would they ever agree to extending the cap for any reason? If the teams didn’t think of costs from damage caused by crashes before they agreed to the budget cap, that’s a huge mistake and the blame is on them.

        1. Agreed, very strange they haven’t thought of it before

          1. I’m sure they have thought of it already, but the fact is that this year it has come to the fore in actuality for some top teams, who have incurred very expensive repair bills through actions for which others have been penalized.

            I fully get the argument that lesser teams would not feel sympathy for top teams who struggle to stay under the cap while they themselves can’t even get near it, but surely there is also something to the argument for the top teams, that now that their budgets are so restricted should they be on the hook for repairs in the millions through someone else’s penalized act?

            Maybe this won’t go anywhere, but I don’t blame the top teams for bringing this up now that it has hit them in the pocketbook. They not only were potentially taken out of a race, but also had the repair bill now hurt them with their cap and further development, so a double penalty for an act someone else did that was penalized. I sure can’t blame them for wanting to at least discuss this further.

            1. @robbie
              I can, of course, understand the top teams wanting to do something about this. I just find it completely hypocritical of them. They have not made any mention of the unfairness of having to pay for the mistakes of someone else until it directly affected them. They are finally suffering what the teams lower down the field have always dealt with, but now that it affects them as well as the poorer teams, they scream that they want the rules changed. They get zero sympathy from me, and I hope the rules don’t get modified.

            2. @drmouse No that’s a fair view and I get that. In fairness I don’t think they’re ‘screaming’ nor that they expect to not have to pay for the mistakes of someone else, just perhaps have it outside the budget when that happens. As I think I have said before too, I hope and expect that over the next 3 to 5 years we will see more teams that are able to meet the cap than is currently the case, with better money distribution and with a growing F1 hopefully capturing more audience and more sponsors. I doubt it is F1’s plan to continue to have teams barely struggling to hang on, or at least that seems to fly in the face of their direction of caps and money distribution and cars something more spec than currently. Maybe in a few years most teams would like to have 2 or 3 million freed up from their budget to do repairs they shouldn’t have to pay doubly for. At a certain level I only have so much sympathy for the lesser teams for it is up to them to build themselves up, too. It is not entirely F1’s job to lift them up, but of course the hope is they will through a revived F1, post-unsustainability.

    6. Totally different topic…but looks like CVC have their eyes set on stripping La Liga.

      BOOOM!

      1. Here. Take this sympathy reply.

    7. I can’t believe we are still talking about this stupidity in any racing. This cap is going to be a nightmare and result in an Accounting World Championship instead.

      1. I see that diametrically differently @darryn. To me the huff-haff around cost of repairs just shows that it really works to put a cap to just outspending the pack by the biggest teams. Why do we only hear the 3 teams that are used to just throw millions at the sport open ended about this, while teams like Haas, Williams and Alfa Romeo have been super tight on budget for years and still managed to find a way to replace damaged parts tell us that it’s part of planning ahead to account for such incidents.

        BTW, since the amounts that Ferrari and Red Bull and Mercedes mention are about 2-5% of the total budget, I must say that I think that if they failed to count in about 10% damages when planning their yearly budget, that would be a clear sign of mismanagement.

        1. Very much this. So far it seems to work quite well, it may require some further adjustments but it looks to have the intended effect.

        2. @bascb I’m 100% with you on this. The big boys are now crying that, instead of being able to just throw money at everything, they have a constrained budget like everyone else. I’m going to play them a sad song on the world’s smallest violin….

          1. @bascb I’m sure they’re very good at managing what they are doing, and I’m sure they can afford the repairs, but at the same time I can’t blame them for at least wanting to discuss this further, since all teams, but especially the big teams, are always trying to find every advantage possible as we have always known. It is not about them ‘failing’ to count in your random number of 10% rather than 2-5%, but rather they are now feeling the effects of it being a further penalty to not only spend the money on the repairs, which they can well afford even with the caps, but to also have someone else’s penalized act further hurt them by taking money away from something else that could have been done with it, which is new with the cap.

            I won’t be bothered if nothing comes of this, for I have been for the budget caps, but many have bemoaned the caps and the resultant lack of innovation in F1 that goes hand in hand with them, and having a few million taken away from a team through another’s penalized act is also penalizing that team from developing. I wonder, if LH loses the WDC this year and Mercedes blames it on their lack of budget room to develop the car, that will be just fine and an ‘oh well’ moment for LH fans, or will they perhaps wish 2 or 3 mill had been freed up in their budget from repairs being done outside of it. Mind you, I’m not sure if so far they have incurred any significant repair bills from penalized acts of others, but Red Bull and Ferrari sure have.

            As I say, I’m not bothered either way by this, but it should be no surprise the top teams are bringing this up, and for those who want as much innovation in F1 as possible, they should want some money freed up for teams to do just that, and why not when that money needs be spent fixing damage from someone else’s penalized act? I don’t think it is unreasonable for them to at least want to talk about it more.

            1. @robbie, I think you’re erroneously linking budget cap and innovation. I’m pretty sure most people that talk about innovation restriction are not saying it’s because of the cap, but is because of the rule restrictions that have been brought about.

              I’d have preferred less regulation – in other words – you have a cap of 145 and some broad parameters (fuel, PU capacity, etc) – do with that what you will… which may have brought in some interesting innovation rather than the “almost spec” set of regs they’ve attached to it.

              Back on topic – I agree it’ll come to nothing and I’m sure teams have set aside a reasonable budget for damage. I’m also pretty certain that IF a team suffered excessive damage due to a competitor’s behaviour (let’s take an extreme and say they took Max out 5 races in a row and each one was a big crash with heavy damage) then the FIA and FOM would look favourably on an over budget spend provided they show that the expenditure was indeed crash repair and that it was well in excess of a reasonable budget allowance.

              I see this topic going nowhere other than being an opportunity for a few headlines during the summer break.

            2. @dbradock the two are linked in a sense, as part of Liberty Media’s approach is to enforce the budget cap by increased standardisation and by stopping teams from developing the cars.

              Of course, there is an element of whether the rules really need to be quite as restrictive for Liberty to have achieved either their claimed goals of closer racing or reducing costs – with quite a few suggesting that both could have been achieved without the need for the rules to be anywhere near as restrictive as Liberty have made them.

            3. @dbradock Pretty sure the two go hand in hand. Looking at it from the perspective of where they are coming from, basically a money game with the money teams completely shutting out smaller let alone new teams from even dreaming of fighting for podiums, thus heading smaller teams into oblivion, there has to be a cap on spending, and that in it’s essence puts a cap on innovation.

              I get the argument to just allow more freedom to innovate but within their new budget restrictions, but that seems to be counter to the goal. Sounds easier said than done, or the teams would have pushed harder for that and gotten more concessions toward it. I’ll assume Liberty and Brawn and the teams who have agreed to the new regs together, know that allowing more freedom sounds good on paper, but in reality isn’t workable. I think too many things have to be common to the teams, and there are still too many teams that can’t meet the cap yet, such that there would be a continuation of the have teams against the have less teams, and a big gulf there. I do see that gulf decreasing though, once F1 builds itself back up.

              I don’t see anything written in stone forever and ever in F1, and hope they can grow it so that they have 10-13 very strong teams, and then perhaps they can loosen the reins on innovation, but for now I believe they need a bit of a zeroing of the scales and drawing the teams closer for a bit while F1 heals after the CVC era, and the expensive hybrid era whose costs have finally amortized over enough time. And if the teams find themselves too boxed in and unable to innovate such that they become disgruntled, or if new teams say they’d enter if only for the lack of ability to innovate, then that can be readdressed carefully. So far the level of innovation or lack thereof seems to not be a deal breaker. As it is, the cars are all quite similar in spite of the greater freedom (and yes also diminished from before) they have had to innovate prior to this new chapter coming.

              For now I’m content to watch this next chapter as a way of firstly saving F1 from unsustainability, and secondly building itself back up, and will take my innovation fix from the fact they are now working within caps, distributing money better, are working in the hybrid zone that also seems to be heading towards synthetic fuels, and are doing ground effects and studying the nullification of the dirty air effect like no others. I look forward to seeing drivers hopefully better able to innovate on track with less instruction on prescribed pace to make tires work, and rather relying on their own ability to pass and defend like we don’t get to see nearly as much in the dirty air drs F1.

            4. @robbie, I accept that in the past couple of decades, the big spenders have led the way with innovation, but if you go back further, a heap of small budget operations brought about some rippers on really small budgets.

              That’s the sort of thing I’d like to get back to where a small team has the opportunity to do something radical by risking a fair portion of their limited budget. Because of budget caps, it wouldn’t necessarily follow that the big teams could immediately copy what they did like they did in 2009 when the Brawn car had a radical diffuser, because they would be limited now in what they could spend, compared to having no limits back then.

              Unfortunately all the standardisation and regulations limits the chances of something like that (a small team coming up with something radical and fast) so it’s unlikely we’ll ever see some of those things ever again unless they do loosen the reins in a few years time.

      2. Many sports have budget limits, even the European football competitions.

    8. @darryn
      I look forward to the helpful Amazon Analytics immediately after a crash:
      “Estimated damage £1.1 million. Chance of overtaking budget cap is 45% in 5 races time”

      1. Ahah, that’s a good one.

      2. I really look forward to an Amazon analytics ‘estimated damage’ after every scrape @eurobrun, that might be fun (bottoms out on kerb: well that’s a cool half a million – estimated; oops that front-wing-endplate will buff out with tape, $10 max :) etc!

        1. Ha, that might actually be a fun and somewhat informative AWS stat for a change @eurobrun!

      3. Split the costs in “Damaged caused” and “Damage taken” in the driver stats :-)

        1. And make it a championship.
          So Mercedes at least will be a winner in the damage caused list.

    9. Interesting to see the big teams get a taste of their own medicine a bit. All the small teams not supporting the breaks will just add to the financial pressures for the big teams. Seems like Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes underestimated the impact this would have, hopefully it leads to a more exciting 2022. Hopefully we see Williams back in the midfield and the big 3 having relative performance to the rest of the field, heck the likes of McLaren, Alpine and Aston Martin might even outperform them. Probably all wishful thinking though, but one can hope.

      Reply moderated
    10. So even COTA might be at risk? I’m not worried yet.
      Mexico and Brazil, yes, because of the Red List thing.
      A non-issue for Turkey, as long as Japan doesn’t face cancellation.
      The UAE isn’t on UK’s red list anymore as of last Sunday, so switching Saudi Arabian and Abu Dhabi GPs became unnecessary.
      Two races on a street circuit (referring to Jeddah) isn’t an option.
      I’m surprised about the lack of Japanese GP certainty, though, given Aug 10 was mentioned last month as the (rough) deadline reference for freight.

      COTD: 100%

      1. Josh (@canadianjosh)
        13th August 2021, 12:25

        I would say the US GP is unlikely given how cases are skyrocketing down there at the moment and when you add the amount of unvaccinated Republicans who wouldn’t dare put a mask on they don’t really deserve a Grand Prix.

      2. Texas and Florida combine for 40 percent of US cases right now. Then in FL you have the governor fighting cruise ship lines and teachers to stop mask and vaccination requirements. F1 maybe picked the worst US states to race in during a pandemic.

    11. Can we please not talk about crashes? ;-). This season is already (irreparably) tainted because of it

    12. RE: COTD

      I completely agree. In fact, given that the regulations require the sample to be provided in a very specific way, not for the fuel to be in the car, the only way I could see them being able to appeal would be to show that the FIA delegates didn’t follow the correct procedure. Otherwise, they didn’t provide the 1l sample, so they’ve contravened the regulation no matter what the reason.

    13. Simple fix, they should get a quote from direct line for fully comprehensive insurance.

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