Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto believes there needs to be a radical solution to crash expenses now that Formula 1 is operating under a budget cap.
Red Bull has been involved in two major incidents in the previous two rounds, with a repair bill in excess of £1.8 million ($2.1m), with the bulk of that coming from Max Verstappen’s crash at Silverstone when he and Lewis Hamilton tangled at Copse.
The repairs from that alone were estimated at £1.2m ($2.5m) as the team were forced to write-off the chassis and engine, despite hopes the Honda power unit could be salvaged. But after running it at Hungary on Friday and Saturday, the team found a crack in the casing, forcing them to install a fresh unit.
On the opening lap of the Hungarian GP, both its cars sustained heavy damage after Valtteri Bottas triggered a crash, with Verstappen sustaining heavy damage and Sergio Perez forced to retire, with question marks over the health of his engine.
A $145m budget cap came into force this season, which leaves very little room in a team’s finances to fund multiple heavy crashes, leading Binotto to suggest the guilty party should instead cough up some of the money as it unfairly impacts the innocent party.
“I think it’s a good point, and I think there is value for discussions in the near future with the other teams principles, FIA and F1,” Binotto said when asked if such costs should be exempt from the budget cap when another party is wholly to blame.
However Binotto went on to suggest that the guilty team should pay, rather than there being budget cap exemptions.
“If we look at the crash of Max and Lewis [at Silverstone], and obviously if you’re not guilty, having such damages in the budget cap is something which is even more of a consequence now. Should we add exemptions? I’m not sure that is the solution. I think it may be very difficult to police.
“But I think that what we may consider, that if a driver is guilty, then the team of that driver should pay at least to the other teams for the damages and repairs, that will make the driver more responsible.”
Ferrari were also caught up in Sunday’s crash after Lance Stroll hit Charles Leclerc, taking him out of the race. Both McLarens were also innocent parties, with Lando Norris retiring with damage and Daniel Ricciardo managing to continue, albeit with heavy damage to his floor.
The FIA handed five-place grid penalties at the Belgian GP to Bottas and Stroll as a result.