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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

F1’s price cap makes fightbacks extra “painful”, says FIA

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Since 2021, F1 groups have needed to function underneath a price range cap restrict which was launched to place grand prix racing on a extra secure monetary platform.

The proof of the previous few years is that the grid general has closed up, particularly as a result of earlier huge spenders haven’t had the posh of throwing extra money at added efficiency to assist them pull clear.

However whereas a more in-depth grid general has been Positive, one of many unintended penalties has been that groups are actually extra restricted in making amends for errors with their automobiles – as they not have the spending energy to spend money on intensive revamps.

This has been particularly highlighted this yr when each Mercedes and Ferrari knew that their 2023 automotive ideas had been no match for the dominant Purple Bull RB19 – however had been unable to make the form of overhauls that may have been doable underneath open spending guidelines.

Reflecting on the influence of the price cap, Tombazis stated that the positive factors it had delivered had not been with out some downsides.

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“The issue with the monetary rules is, on the one hand, they do imply that any person cannot spend 3 times greater than any person else, which is nice,” he stated.

“However then again, they do additionally imply that in case you’re behind any person, you’ll be able to’t simply throw every thing at it and make an improve.

“In older instances, some groups would often begin a season and be in a extremely fairly dangerous place, as a result of they’d have perhaps tousled the undertaking or idea or no matter. They arrive and are humiliated for the primary few races.

“I have been concerned in such a scenario, however then you definitely simply make a large improve package deal for Barcelona for Canada or one thing, and also you’d nearly redesign the entire automotive like loopy for 3 or 4 months after which be profitable races in the course of the season.

“The [current] monetary rules restrict the quantity of upgrades you are able to do. So, if any person is additional again, the restoration will be fairly lengthy and painful.”

Photograph by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, leads Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

The imposition of a price cap, which suggests crew spending can by no means get uncontrolled, has triggered some ideas over current months in it permitting F1’s different guidelines to be relaxed.

For with no threat of there being a spending struggle if groups got larger freedom with technical guidelines, there’s a perception that F1 would achieve from having a larger number of options.

Tombazis is conscious of the professionals and cons of such a scenario, with the FIA having been eager over current years to make rules ever tighter.

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Requested if the philosophy of prescriptive guidelines was one thing to rethink for the brand new period from 2026, Tombazis stated: “There’s a nice line between an excessive amount of limitation – and clearly this can be a technological sport, and has to stay so.

“However on that aspect, with an excessive amount of freedom, there may be then probably very huge gaps between the automobiles, and that is a really troublesome line to observe.

“Clearly, in case you ask an engineer from a crew they’ll say it is an excessive amount of limitation. I am an engineer myself, I’d like it if all automobiles had been a whole technological battle. However we do want to contemplate that there is different components at play which are vital for the game.

“Moreover, in comparison with the older days, when perhaps there was a bit extra freedom, we’ve got monetary rules and we’ve got to additionally attempt to restrict a number of the actions that happen. In any other case you may have groups constructing some benefit via an R&D undertaking of some type, after which having a bonus for an extended, very long time to come back, with no probability of different groups catching up with restrictive rules.

“So, there’s this line between freedom and having a aggressive championship, plus the monetary rules put us in a really small spot. So, I do not assume there’s an ideal reply.”



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