F1's cost cap should be at least $50m/year lower - Guenther Steiner

Haas boss Guenther Steiner

Haas boss Guenther Steiner reckons Formula 1’s cost cap should be at least $50m per year lower, following the ratification of the 2021 regulations.

Formula 1 will introduce a yearly cost cap of $175m from 2021 in a bid to curb spending, though several factors such as driver salaries, marketing and heritage costs are not included.

The majority of Formula 1 teams already operate on an annual budget far less than $175m, and Steiner believes that a lower cap would facilitate fundamental changes.

“We should have the budget cap lower, then you wouldn’t need to make cost savings, then the better job you do with your own cost savings, instead of being told we have to save it,” he said.

“That will come in as a performance differentiator how efficient we are. That is my opinion.

“In Formula 1 to make a cost saving, if you have an open regulation and an open budget, you always can spend the money. You can always spend it somewhere else.

“If for example, if you have got a single supply hub for example, the money you save there, then you invest that in aero.

“If you have got the money and liberty to spend it, you try to find it somewhere else. I don’t think that is the biggest thing there.

“I think the biggest thing would be to have an ever lower budget cap, but as well we discussed it in there, for the big teams to come down from where they are now with what there is in the regulations now is already a big step, because it’s not easy.

“It took 20 years to get to this expenditure and to this big organisation, so you cannot say in 12 months you have to cut it in half. It’s over a period of time.

“[I would like] somewhere between $100m and $120m. Everybody is there. A lot of people are at that level, a lot of people are at that level. I think then you would have a more level playing field.”

Steiner added that smaller teams face a bigger challenge initially due to the greater expenditure required in dealing with the 2021 regulation changes.

“Especially in the beginning, the first year will be more expensive because a lot of things change,” said Steiner.

“Now you carry over some parts on the car which for ’21 you will not, and normally when you have got a new regulations, the first year is a learning year, and the second one you carry over a little.

“The longer that you’ve got the same regulations, more carry over you do obviously, stability. It’s a normal thing like in everything.

“The first years will be more expensive. There will be some, FIA and FOM is trying to do some cost savings, but they are actually very small on the cost savings.

“They’re going to an 18-inch tyre, a low profile tyre, it’s a big change, there will be so much learning done in the first year, so in the second year the car will be completely different – well not completely, but a big change.”